Why We Need to Talk About Suicide: World Suicide Prevention Day 2018

It is inescapable to avoid talking about suicide. As the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, suicide takes the lives of 44,965 Americans each year. Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.

In Georgia, 23 children have committed suicide in the past year. According to the CDC, Georgia’s suicide rate is up 16%.

But suicide isn’t just statistics. It isn’t numbers, demographics, a percentage to fix and decrease. It is more than that. Many people are affected by it, but the issue is that no one is willing to speak up. Today, September 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Day.

It is important to discuss suicide and mental health, without the taboo and stigma surrounding both subjects. Many people walking around carry what feels like the weight of the world. Empty platitudes in conversation is not enough, and as a nation – as individuals – we must actively work together to prevent suicide. By talking about suicide, it increases our awareness as a community, and brings this widespread issue into the public consciousness

As teenagers, managing classes, sports, social lives, and work, can become overwhelming, especially to those who suffer from mental illnesses. Talking about mental health in the midst of this helps with preventing suicide – as an outlet in conversation, freely speaking can alleviate the mental stress and anxiety.

While talking and speaking up may help, it might not be the best way to help someone else suffering from suicidal thoughts. Recognize the signs in the people around you. Ask how others are feeling. As an outsider looking in, educate yourself and help promote conversation.

If you are feeling suicidal, do not be afraid to approach someone you trust to speak about it.  Your world may be narrowing right now, but trust me when I say that it gets better.