Suicide is death caused by injuring oneself with the intent to die. In 2019, there were an estimated 1.38 million suicide attempts and 47,511 Americans died by suicide in 2019. (CDC, 2019). Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire countries and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. -Learn the latest published statistics on suicide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2019, retrieved February 9, 2021.
When it comes to suicide and suicide attempts there are rate differences depending on demographic characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity and race. Nonetheless, suicide occurs in all demographic groups. There are some things you can do to help. Suicide can be prevented.
If someone indicates they are considering suicide, listen and take their concerns seriously. Don’t take it lightly or not believe what they are telling you. Don't be afraid to ask questions about their plans. Let them know you care, and they are not alone. Encourage them to seek help immediately from a knowledgeable professionals. Don't leave them alone.
Five tips from CDC for what you can do if you're concerned about a friend or loved one:
· Ask someone you are worried about if they're thinking about suicide. (While people may be hesitant to ask, research shows this is helpful.)
· Keep them safe. Reduce access to lethal means for those at risk. ( ie. Firearms, medications, poison etc.)
· Be there with them. Listen to what they need.
· Help them connect with ongoing support.
· Stay connected. Follow up to see how they’re doing.
Being connected to family and community support and having easy access to health care can decrease suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Suicide and suicide attempts affect the health and well-being of friends, loved ones, co-workers, and the community. When people die by suicide, their surviving family and friends may experience shock, anger, guilt, symptoms of depression or anxiety, and may even experience thoughts of suicide themselves. So let’s all do our part to help one another.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.