National Suicide Prevention Month

Ellie Garzony, News Editor

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – a time to raise awareness of this stigmatized and avoided topic. Some of you may be wondering, why talk about this now? Why wait until the end of the month to discuss its contents? 

Here’s why. 

There is one suicide death in the US every 11.5 minutes. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. It is important to understand that the need for awareness does not end just because the month has. 

These statistics, although difficult to discuss, must be talked about year-round. 

According to the Real Depression Project, here are some simple things that we as a society can do to help suicide prevention (that don’t include posting crisis lines). 

The first thing you can do is educate yourself about mental illness in general. The more we understand it, the less likely we are to give superficial advice that pushes people away. Saying things such as “you just need to get out more” will not be beneficial to anyone. 

Another thing you can do is check in on your loved ones instead of expecting those who are suicidal to reach out. Many people who are suicidal suffer in silence because they fear being a burden or being judged / stigmatized. 

Additionally, you must accept depression as a real illness rather than dismissing it as “sadness” or “just a phase”. This terminology can be invalidating for the person experiencing depression.  

It is also important to create a “safe space” for those who are suicidal where they can exist without the weight of expectation/obligations. Give people who are struggling the love that they are unable to give themselves in their darker moments. 

Be kind to people both online and in person. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Treat people how you want to be treated on your worst day. 

Please share to raise awareness. It could save someone’s life.