National Suicide Prevention Week – helping someone suicidal
8th September 2017
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US
Each year 44,193 Americans die by suicide
For every suicide committed, 25 attempt suicide
Suicide costs the US$ 51 billion annually
These shocking statistics highlight that talking about suicide is still highly stigmatized. Talking about suicide and understanding it better is necessary for helping someone suicidal and preventing further suicides. World Suicide Prevention Day is held this weekend on the 10th September. It’s an annual awareness raising event organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organization. National Suicide Prevention Week carries throughout the week until the 16th September. We need to get better at identifying those most at risk and finding ways to reach them to enable us to make a difference today, in order to #StopSuicide.
Among high school students in the past 12 months, 17.7 % have seriously considered suicide, 14.6 % have formulated a plan for how they would take their own lives, and 8.6 % have attempted suicide. Four out of five teenagers who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs. That’s why here at Impero, we are currently working in partnership with a number of charities including Harmless, self-harm support organization. They have helped to contribute to our suicide and self-harm libraries, so that we are able to helps schools to safeguard young people from suicidal feelings by detecting the warning signs early.
To find out more about how Impero Education Pro can help monitor and identify students at risk of suicide, read about our online safety features here.
Make a difference today
Reaching out to people who are going through a difficult time can be a game changer in helping someone suicidal and can make a difference today. People who are feeling low or suicidal often feel worthless and think that no-one cares. Small things like hearing from friends or family, feeling listened to or just being told that ‘it’s ok to talk‘ can change the life of that person and make a huge difference.
5 Action Steps for helping someone suicidal
The National Institute of Mental Health provides these lifesaving steps to #StopSuicide:
- Ask: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.
- Keep them safe: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. Whilst this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means can make a difference.
- Be there: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce, rather than increase, suicidal thoughts.
- Help them connect: Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number in your phone so it’s there when you need it: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.
- Stay Connected: Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.
Get involved and walk to fight suicide
Join a quarter of a million people from hundreds of cities across all 50 states and walk with The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to raise awareness and funds that will save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. Click here to find an ‘Out of the Darkness Community Walk’ near you.