Suicide is when someone attempts to harm themselves and that injury can lead to death. A wide array of risk factors can lead a person to suicide.
Regardless of the risk factors, suicide and suicide attempts can be prevented with timely and effective interventions, treatment, and support.
There are many resources available if you’re in a crisis, and long-term prevention methods have been proven to help those with suicidal thoughts. Please use one of these resources before committing an act you cannot return from.
Whether you’re a student, working professional, veteran, or senior, if you’re contemplating or at risk of suicide, there are several options available to you.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network offers help 24/7. Call them at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or click here to chat. Anyone in a crisis can also seek help from a local psychiatric hospital walk-in clinic, a local hospital emergency room, or a local urgent care center. If you’re in immediate danger, dial 911.
Individuals battling substance abuse can contact the SAMHSA Treatment Referral Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Those who are dealing with sexual assault or abuse can call the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), and teens in abusive relationships can contact the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474. Veterans can find assistance from Vets4Warriors or by calling Vets4Warriors at 1-855-838-8255.
Statistics on Suicide
Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States for all ages, claiming the lives of over 47,000 Americans every year. Breaking it down further, there is one death by suicide every 11 minutes. From a global perspective, a death by suicide occurs every 40 seconds.
Females are more likely than males to have suicidal thoughts, and they attempt suicide three times as often as males. However, death by suicide is 3.5 times higher among males than females. Regardless of sex or gender, the highest suicide rates are among American Indians and Alaska Natives. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals are three times more likely than heterosexuals to attempt suicide.
Preventing Future Crises
When people suffer from relationship conflict or loss, the risk of suicide increases. On the flip side, the cultivation and maintenance of healthy, close relationships can act as a protective factor against the risk of suicide. Close relationships can be a significant source of support and can buffer the impact of external stressors. While your closest social circle – partners, family members, and friends – have the most influence, discussing your issues with support groups and mental health professionals can also be immensely helpful.
Research has also shown that service and companion animals are beneficial for people suffering from depression and anxiety. Removing negativity from your life and home and developing positive coping strategies and healthy lifestyle practices – such as a well-balanced diet, exercise, and adequate sleep – is also crucial.
Reducing stress can also help people live better lives. People reduce stress by bringing humor into their lives, establishing good healthy diets and other regimens to support themselves, and understanding that good is just around the corner and not everything is terrible. If you’re feeling stressed or unhappy at work, ZenBusiness recommends preventing monotony by adjusting your routine, sitting less, and eating healthy snacks every couple of hours.
Suicide doesn’t just affect those who attempt and/or commit suicide; there’s a powerful ripple effect that affects the families, friends, and communities. If you’re having thoughts of suicide or have ever experienced thoughts of suicide, know that you’re not alone in your thoughts and feelings and that others have been there. Recovery is possible through treatment and support, and you can avoid future crises and get to a place where you begin to find joy in life.