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Education

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. 48,344 Americans died by suicide in 2020, which is an astonishing 132 individuals each day.

In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. 48,344 Americans died by suicide in 2020, which is an astonishing 132 individuals each day. On average, women are 1.4x more likely to attempt suicide, while men are 3.6x more likely to die by suicide; however, anyone can be affected by suicidal ideation. It is imperative to be mindful and become aware of the risk and protective factors for suicide, thus you can take control of your health, reach out when necessary, and advocate for yourself, your family, and your friend’s mental health care needs.

Risk factors:

  • Serious illness
  • Social isolation
  • Lack of social supports
  • Substance use disorder
  • Family history of suicide
  • Sexual violence or assault
  • Prior history of suicide attempts
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Adverse childhood experiences, such as child abuse or neglect

Protective factors:

  • Impulse control
  • Strong social connections
  • A safe and stable environment
  • Supportive relationships with friends or family
  • Healthy coping skills that benefit the individual
  • Availability to physical and mental health care – VPCHC cares about your health needs

What you can do to help:

  • Avoid being judgmental
  • Become an advocate for suicide prevention
  • Provide a safe and supportive environment for the individual
  • Be willing to listen when someone expresses suicidal ideation
  • Reach out to friends and loved ones – especially if you notice they appear to be struggling

National Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255

National 24/7 Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, May 22). Suicide Prevention Fast Facts.

https://www.cdc.gov//suicide/facts.index.html.

By: Destiny Budd, LMHCA

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