Suicide is an ugly word. Most people are uncomfortable just hearing the word. It is not something spoken about in polite conversations. It is something we avoid thinking about, but avoiding it does not stop it from happening.
Over 41,000 deaths from suicide occurred in 2013 making suicide the 10th leading cause of death in America. In 2013 someone died of suicide every 12.8 minutes. Suicide happens when someone is in so much emotional pain or feels that they have no other way out, and they decide to end their lives. This is not only a huge tragedy for those individuals, but the social, emotional and even economic impact of suicide is a major issue in this country and around the world.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. This is an important day to begin having discussions about suicide, even if they are not comfortable or socially acceptable.
When someone commits suicide, it is devastating to those left behind. Loved ones agonize over the questions; “what could I have done to prevent this?” or “why didn’t I see the signs?” These are brutal questions for those left behind. I know because I had to ask myself those very questions. I had to deal with the aftermath of a suicide and it is not something I would want anyone to go through.
Today is a reminder that we should all learn the signs of suicide, to intervene if we are concerned about a loved one, and to advocate for mental health funding and research. We all can make a difference.