by: Gail Barouh
An important date approaching is September 10th, which is marked as World Suicide Prevention day. At 8 pm, this day will be observed by lighting a candle near a window in the name of suicide prevention. The International Association for Suicide Prevention formed this national day in order to: prevent suicidal behaviors, alleviate the effects of suicidal behavior, and to create a forum for suicide survivors, crisis workers, volunteers, mental health professionals, and academics. The organization wishes to reduce stigma, which has proved to be a large impediment in the field of suicide prevention.
Suicide is one of the many substantial issues concerning our world today. In a recent New York Times article, research found that more people die of suicide than from car accidents, and in the last ten years, the suicide rate has increased by nearly 30% in Americans ages 35 to 64. Researchers link the increasing suicide rate in middle aged Americans with the recent tough economic times within the country.
The Office of Minority Health found that the suicide rates differ among ethnic groups as well and some ethnicities display disparities between population and suicide rate. Research found that American Indian and Alaska Native populations had a suicide rate which was 91 percent higher than any other races in the U.S. In the nation, Asian American Pacific Islander women have the highest rates of suicide in the age group of 15 to 24 year olds.
The Suicide Awareness Voices of Education iterates the facts:
- Depression is the upmost risk factor for suicide
- In those the ages of 15-24 years old, suicide is the third leading cause of death
- From 1952-1995, rates of suicide in young adults tripled.
- In the United States, the spring holds the highest rates of suicide
- Suicide by means of firearm is the most common
Some signs of depression that can warn you of possible suicidal behavior are:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Expressing that there is no reason to live.
- Loss of interest in things the person once enjoyed.
- Social isolation from friends and family.
- Inability to sleep or sleeping too much.
- Showing sudden rage or irritability.
- Voicing that the person wants to kill himself/herself.
Any person who shows any of the aforementioned depression symptoms should receive help from a physician or mental health professional. Action must be taken to ensure the person’s safety. Always receive treatment and help for depression or anxiety.
On September 10th, The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) will be sponsoring an activity for Suicide Prevention, named: Cycle Around the Globe. The organization describes this activity as a “challenge to see if we can all contribute to collectively cycle this distance (the world’s circumference) for World Suicide Prevention Day. Please join us and help us reach this target. It does not matter how far you can cycle, every kilometer or mile will be added to the total and there are no limits, you can cycle at home, in the gym or outside.” To participate in Cycle Around the Globe, you can sign up on the IASP website and pledge $10 for the cause.
In order to make this September 10th a yearlong occurrence– remember the importance of suicide prevention.