Suicide is a tragedy of epic proportions. To paint a picture, in 2019, 47,511 Americans took their own life. Overall, it’s the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the 2nd for youth between the ages of 10 and 24.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and we want to bring light to this critical topic because education saves lives. And this week? We’re taking a deep dive into prevention strategies.
So, how can we combat suicide at a macro level? Read on to learn more.
Identify & Assist Persons at Risk
The first step in preventing suicide is to identify populations at risk. Then, educate the people who work with them on suicide warning signs and intervention strategies, so they’re empowered to save lives.
Data reflects 1 in 5 people struggle with their mental health. Yet, because of stigma, few will reach out for support. Sadly, 90% of those who complete suicide are grappling with mental health conditions at the time of their death.
Public awareness campaigns and education can reduce barriers to seeking treatment, ultimately helping individuals receive life-saving support.
Organizational Linkages & Seamless Transitional Care
There’s no question that when organizations communicate and work together to wrap around the people they serve, it equates to excellent client care. In essence, it serves as a buffer, ensuring no suicide warning signs are missed and that people move seamlessly between different levels of care.
Create Systems to Respond to People in Crisis
Putting systems in place for those in crisis is essential and is not limited to mental health. Everything from emergency shelters to food stamps, and of course, mental health crisis call centers play a critical hand in preventing suicide.
Encourage Social Connectedness
Social isolation is a significant risk factor for suicide. Thus, communities that create systems to foster social connections can significantly reduce risk. Free community events, volunteer programs, and support groups are all great ways to bring people together.
Learn More: A Comprehensive Approach to Suicide Prevention
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