Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide.
Every 41 seconds someone is left to make sense of it.
Yesterday was International Survivors of Suicide Day.
For those who have never experienced depression, it is probably very difficult to comprehend the desire to end one’s own life. Many have said it is a very “selfish” thing to do. Though there may be a some truth to that-and I in no way want to minimize the pain of family members who bear the consequences of suicide– the suicidal person’s plight is much more complex than a simple thought about leaving their friends and family. Many people in a suicidal state are so down on themselves that they truly believe their families would be better off without them. Depression is a powerful, engulfing, painful enemy, and it is simply too complicated to minimize in a quick statement or summation. To judge the suicidal person is to essentialize their experience and minimize their torment.
So many people have been touched by suicide in their lives, but little is ever said about it. If you know someone contemplating suicide (or hinting at it), do not be afraid to ask them directly- “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” If the answer is yes, stay with them until you connect them with a professional or someone who can help (therapist, school counselor, hospital, etc). If you are thinking of suicide yourself, don’t wait. Talk to someone now. There is a suicide hotline 1.800.273.TALK (8255). Don’t suffer in silence.
You can also find out more about suicide, risk factors, warning signs, etc here.
We can never know what it’s like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes- but we can choose to walk with them or get them to someone who can help when that mile feels difficult.
More suicide statistics are listed below.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 25-34 year-olds
- Suicide is the 2nd most common cause of death in the U.S. military. The 154 suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of 1012 outdistance the U.S. troops forces killed in action in Afghanistan by about 50 percent
- LGBT youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth
- 1 in 6 students has seriously considered suicide in the last year
- Every 15 minutes a person dies of suicide in the U.S.