(WANE) September has been designated as Suicide Prevention Month and Sunday specifically is World Suicide Prevention Day.
Falling on a Sunday, it’s more fitting than ever to bring this conversation into our place of worship according to a blog post on LOOKup. While mental illness is common, it is still an uncomfortable topic in most avenues of society. It is time for faith leaders to stand in the gap and speak up for people living with mental illness and suicidal thoughts.
According to the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, while mental illness is common, it is still an uncomfortable topic in most avenues of society. It is time for faith leaders to stand in the gap and speak up for people living with mental illness and suicidal thoughts.
IPFW has scheduled an entire week of Suicide Prevention activities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans and has been among the top 12 leading causes of death since 1975 in the United States.
The CDC says deaths from suicide are only part of the problem . Many more people survive suicide attempts than actually die. In 2015, more than half a million people (505,507) received medical care for self-inflicted injuries at emergency departments across the United States. Almost 1.4 million adults self-reported a suicide attempt and 9.7 million adults self-reported serious thoughts of suicide.
Suicide is usually the result of multiple risk factors. Having these risk factors, however, does not mean that suicide will occur.
Researchers identified some of these risk factors:
- History of previous suicide attempts
- Family history of suicide
- History of depression or other mental illness
- History of alcohol or drug abuse
- Stressful life event or loss (e.g., job, financial, relationship)
- Easy access to lethal methods
- History of interpersonal violence
- Stigma associated with mental illness and help-seeking
Protective factors buffer individuals from suicidal thoughts and behavior. Researchers identified some of the protective factors listed below:
- Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
- Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
- Easy access to various clinical interventions and support
- Family and community support (connectedness)
- Cultural or religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support seeking help