Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Over the last couple of years, Americans have experienced several life-changing events that may have affected mental health. A global pandemic, major shifts in the political landscape, and financial turmoil have left many of us struggling in a loop of uncertainty. While it’s normal to feel some anxiety and stress, it’s important to remember suicidal thoughts can indicate more serious issues.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month —a time to raise awareness and provide resources to help those struggling with mental health disorders and work to eliminate the stigma surrounding the topic of suicide. Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness:
- Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.
- 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition – but research shows that 90% may have experienced symptoms of a mental health condition.
- 79% of all people who die by suicide are male.
- Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are 4x more likely to die by suicide.
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10–14 and the 3rd leading cause of death among people aged 15-24 in the U.S.
- Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are nearly 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.
- Transgender adults are nearly 9x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
Suicide Warning Signs
It’s vital to understand the suicide warning signs so people can get help for themselves or their loved ones if necessary. Some of these warning signs include:1
- Talking about wanting to die or having suicidal thoughts.
- Talking about wanting to kill oneself.
- Talking about being a burden to other people.
- Using alcohol and drugs.
- Researching ways to commit suicide online.
- Behaving in an unusual way, such as being more anxious, agitated, or reckless.
- Not sleeping properly. Either not getting enough sleep or sleeping too much.
- Experiencing erratic mood swings.
- Withdrawing from friends and family.
The National Suicide Prevention hotline has been a lifesaver for many people experiencing a mental health crisis. This summer, a new 3-digit number was implemented to make calling easier. If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide call or text 988 immediately. If you are uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can chat with the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988lifeline.org.
Addiction and Suicide
Some groups of people are at higher risk of suicide and suicide attempts than others. People with mental health disorders, and substance use disorders, are in the higher risk group.2 In addition, those who misuse prescription opioids are 40%–60% more likely to have suicidal thoughts.3 According to recent studies, up to 30% of opioid overdoses may be suicide attempts.3
Alcohol dependency is another risk factor for suicide. One set of studies revealed that people who were heavy drinkers had a higher risk of suicide than social drinkers.4
When a person has a co-occurring disorder they are at a substantially higher risk of suicide.4 If you or a loved one is struggling with an untreated mental health condition or substance misuse disorder, and looking for rehab in Rhode Island AdCare Treatment Center can help. Our admissions navigators are available 24/7 .