Navigating the Rising Tide

September 18, 2023

Navigating the Rising Tide: 

Suicide Prevention During National Suicide Prevention Month

In my four decades in the health care field, I've witnessed the resilience of individuals and families grappling with health crises, and the unwavering passion to champion their peace of mind. Today, as we mark National Suicide Prevention Month, I'm compelled to address a pressing issue that demands our collective compassion and action: the disheartening surge in youth suicide rates. With empathy as our compass, we embark on a journey through this blog to explore three vital facets: suicide prevention, the disquieting escalation in youth suicide statistics, and providing essential guidance on what to do when the darkness of despair encroaches on your life or the life of someone you hold dear.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a complex and deeply concerning problem that affects individuals of all ages and backgrounds. It's essential to understand that suicide should be preventable, and raising awareness is the first step towards reducing its prevalence.

National Suicide Prevention Month is a time to focus on education and destigmatization. It's an opportunity to remind ourselves that there is hope, help, and support available for those in crisis. There are numerous organizations, hotlines, and mental health professionals dedicated to assisting individuals who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Suicide on the Rise Among Young People

The data is stark and alarming. Suicide rates among teenagers and young adults have been on the rise, and this trend deserves our immediate attention. Let's examine some key findings from recent articles:

  • According to a study from UCLA Health, suicide is a significant concern among teens and young adults, with suicide rates being highest in this age group. In fact, it is now the second leading cause of death for individuals aged 15 to 24.
  • Pew Trusts reports that youth suicide risk has increased by 56% over the past decade, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this crisis.
  • SunCloud Health highlights the link between excessive screen time and suicide risk among teenagers, with studies indicating a 70% increase in suicide-related outcomes in adolescents who spend seven or more hours per day on screens.
  • The introduction of a new, streamlined national 988 suicide hotline number aims to make it easier for individuals in crisis to access help. This initiative recognizes the growing need for immediate assistance.
  • Heartbreaking stories, like the one featured in The Wall Street Journal, illustrate the tragic consequences of youth suicide, where one teenager's suicide can lead to more young lives lost, in what experts sometimes call a "suicide cluster."

What to Do If You or Someone You Know is Contemplating Suicide

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, it's crucial to take immediate action. Here are some essential steps:

  • Seek Professional Help: Reach out to a mental health professional, therapist, or counselor who specializes in suicide prevention. They can provide guidance and support tailored to the individual's needs.
  • Talk About It: Encourage open and non-judgmental communication. If someone you know is struggling, let them know you are there to listen and support them.
  • Access Crisis Hotlines: The 988 hotline, established by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, is available 24/7 to provide immediate assistance and connect individuals with crisis intervention resources.
  • Remove Access to Means: If you are concerned about someone's safety, help remove access to lethal means, such as firearms or medications.
  • Stay Connected: Loneliness and isolation can exacerbate suicidal thoughts. Stay connected with friends and family, and encourage social support.
  • Educate Yourself: Understanding the warning signs of suicide and risk factors can help you recognize when someone may be in danger.
  • Encourage Professional Evaluation: Encourage the person to seek a mental health assessment to determine the appropriate treatment and support.

During National Suicide Prevention Month, let us remember that we can make a difference. Suicide prevention starts with education, empathy, and action. The rise in suicide rates among young people is a call to action for all of us. Together, we can provide the support and resources needed to help those in crisis find hope, healing, a nd a path forward. Our commitment to preventing suicide is not only a responsibility but a testament to our compassion and dedication to the well-being of our communities.

In future insights, we will delve more deeply into some specific areas that seem to be especially prevalent in this troubling trend.

Please reach out with any questions, and take care. Sending you calm and healthy wishes!



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Disclaimer: The contents of HealthACR Insights are intended to provide information we hope you find interesting, timely and useful. We carefully research the topics using reliable, highly regarded sources. Citations are provided. We in no way intend to offer clinical advice that you should use to make treatment decisions. Please consult appropriate professionals. HealthACR, LLC is available to help you identify potential options and find providers to meet your needs.

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