‘It’s Okay To Talk About Suicide’


Isabel Shaw, Staff Writer

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is raising awareness of this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic.
NAMI hopes to shift public perception, spread hope and share vital information to people affected by suicide. Their goal is ensuring that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help.
According to the NAMI website, 988 is now available nationwide as the new number to contact for mental health, substance use and suicide crises — a simple, easy-to-remember way for people to get help. This new number will allow people to quickly connect with support during a crisis, 24/7, no matter where they live.
Following are a few of the reasons why according to the CDC, NIMH and select other sources it’s important to take part in promoting Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Individual Impact:
• Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10–14 and the third leading cause of death among people aged 15-24 in the U.S;
• 79 percent of all people who die by suicide are male;
• Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are four times more likely to die by suicide;
• Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.
• 46 percent of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition – but research shows that 90 percent may have experienced symptoms of a mental health condition.
Community Impact:
• Annual prevalence of serious thoughts of suicide, by U.S. demographic group:
o 4.9 percent of all adults
o 11.3 percent of young adults aged 18-25
o 18.8 percent of high school students
o 45 percent of LGBTQ youth;
• The highest rates of suicide in the U.S. are among American Indian/Alaska Natives followed by non-Hispanic whites;
• Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are nearly four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth;
• Transgender adults are nearly nine times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population;
• Suicide is the leading cause of death for people held in local jails.

NAMI offers information and graphics at “It’s Okay to Talk About Suicide.”

• If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988 immediately.
• If you are uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can chat the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988lifeline.org.
• You can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.
• Visit nami.org.