“As anyone who has been close to someone that has committed suicide knows, there is no other pain like that felt after the incident” ~ Peter Greene
Most of you probably know this, but for those who don’t, tomorrow (Friday, September 10th) is World Suicide Prevention Day. In fact, all this week – from September 6th – 11th – is National Suicide Prevention Week. Why should we make a whole day out of suicide prevention? Wait, a better question is why should there be a week dedicated to suicide? Here’s why…
- 11: suicide is the 11th cause of death for all Americans in 2007*
- 34,000+: the number of people took their own lives in 2007
- 1 in 15: in 2007, 1 suicide occurred every 15 minutes
- 376,306: the number of people treated in Emergency Departments for intentional, nonfatal self-inflicted injuries in 2008
- ~1,100: approximately 1,100 college students took their own lives on campuses across the country
- 2: suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 25-34 year olds
Now that I’ve laid out the facts for you, here’s how you can help yourself, a family member, friend, or even a complete stranger in need. I encourage you to read the details of each step on Take 5 to Save Lives, a campaign produced by the National Council for Suicide Prevention:
- Learn the signs**
- Join the movement
- Spread the word (via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Support a friend
- Reach out
For a list of additional resources, I urge you to go to the Find Help page on our website If you know of anymore resources, I encourage you to use the comment section to educate other people about them.
Remember, when a family member or friend reaches out to you for help, you should always be there for them. The fact that they are trying to get your attention means they really need a helping hand. Help yourself, and them, by learning the signs and joining the movement. During Suicide Prevention Week, take it upon yourself to spend 5 minutes learning how you can help someone who is in need.
Also, be aware of your surroundings and the people you regularly pass in the hallways of your school or office, the courtyard on your campus, or the cashier at your local coffee shop or grocery store. You never know when you might meet someone showing signs of depression or suicidal ideations. These tips can – and, at some point, will – come in handy. We owe it to each other to live life with our eyes wide open, ensuring that everyone we meet has someone to talk to.