September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Student Counseling Services is here to help and would like you to keep these facts about suicide and suicide prevention in mind.
Fast Facts on Suicide Prevention
Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide globally (WHO, 2018). In the United States, there is an average of 130 suicides per day (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2021). This does not include the number of suicide attempts that occur each day.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States, and the 2nd leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults (ages 15-34; CDC, 2019).
Individuals who identify as LGBT are at an increased risk for suicide. LGB youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost 3 times the rate of heterosexual youth and are 5 times as likely to attempt suicide (CDC, 2016). Transgender people are 12x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population (NAMI, 2021).
Men die by suicide more than 3 times as often as women; however, women are more than 1.6 times as likely as men to attempt suicide (CDC, 2019).
Not all individuals who experience suicidal ideations, attempt suicide.
Suicidal thoughts are often relatively short-lived and situation-specific, i.e., suicidal individuals do not always remain suicidal.
Suicide attempts can be precipitated by a major life event (e.g., a relationship breakup), by a mental health disorder (e.g., depression), or by a physical health condition (e.g., chronic pain).
Suicide attempts or deaths can come with warning signs, such as (NIMH, 2015):
- Talking about wanting to die, significant guilt or shame, or being a burden to others.
- Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, extreme sadness, or significant anxiety, agitation, or emotional or physical pain.
- Behaviors, such as planning or researching ways to die, withdrawing from friends or beginning to say good bye to loved ones, giving away important possessions, or creating a will, engaging in risky behaviors or increased alcohol or drug use.
Previous suicide attempts increase the risk for suicide.
Asking if someone is suicidal in a caring, nonjudgmental way does not increase or cause suicidal ideations but offer a chance to connect and begin conversation about those feelings.
Many people who are suicidal report that reaching out for help can be beneficial.
Suicide can be prevented.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, reach out for help:
- Call our IMUT Crisis Hotline to speak with a crisis counselor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at: (713) 500-IMUT (4688).
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
- Text with a crisis counselor by texting “HOME” to 741741.
- Call 911 or seek transportation to the nearest emergency room if someone is actively suicidal.
Remember, suicide is not the answer. There is hope.