September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
As September is Suicide Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to remind each other how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this tragic health issue.
Veteran Suicide Awareness is of Upmost Importance
Suicidal thoughts – like nearly all other mental health conditions such as PTSD, anxiety disorders, and major depressive disorders, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. However, the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report indicates that veterans are 50% more likely to lose their life to suicide than the non-veteran population. Furthermore, suicide rates in Veterans are at their highest within three years of leaving active duty service.
Every year during suicide awareness month, updated suicide statistics are provided to the public. According to the most recent research:
- 78% of all people who die by suicide are male.
- Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are nearly four times more likely to die by suicide.
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10–34 and the 10th leading cause of death, overall, in the U.S.
- The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35% since 1999.
- 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition.
- 90% of those who die by suicide have symptoms of a mental health condition, whether diagnosed or not.
Veteran Suicide Prevention Resources
The Veterans Crisis Line, offers free, confidential, 24-hour support for Veterans and their loved ones. Since beginning to promote Veteran suicide awareness in 2007, the Veterans Crisis line has answered more than 1.25 million calls and saved more than 30,000 lives. To reach someone right away you can call in person, send a text, or start an online chat.
Signs That a Veteran May Be in Crisis Include:
- Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
- Rage or anger
- Unusually risky behavior
- Increased alcohol or drug use
- Withdrawal from family and friends
Additional Suicide Awareness Resources for the General Population
Don’t wait for Suicide Prevention Month to seek help for yourself or a loved one. Take advantage of these resources as soon as you believe there is a concern.
- Make the Connection’s Suicide Education Page
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Chat
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Text Option – Text NAMI to 741-741