Suicide: It’s Everyone’s Issue

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USC’s MSW Programs Blog Day.

Suicide is more common than most of us think.  The CDC tells us that it is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.  More noteworthy to me is that someone dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes in this country – keep in mind that that figure doesn’t take into account the people who attempted to take their own lives but were unsuccessful.  And it surely doesn’t count the people who have suicide on their minds.

Stereotypes about who thinks about, attempts and actually commits suicide abound, but just as with many stereotypes – the reality is quite different.  Did you know older Americans are more at risk?  Check out the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s statistics below:

This flies in the face of the notion that only angst-ridden teenagers consider suicide an option.  In fact, the numbers presented above prove that it is something that occurs in every age group.  In fact, suicides happen in every racial group, religious persuasion, tax bracket and gender.  It is a tragic equalizer among us.

If there is a bright spot in all these statistics, it is that suicide prevention efforts, like today’s Suicide Awareness Day, are becoming more common and accepted.  While it’s something that none of us want to talk about, conversations about suicide are becoming more common and accepted in popular and social media.

And that gives us all a chance to spread the word about the resources available – for free and for everyone.  More importantly, these resources are available when needed – no matter day or time.  Spread the word.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255)

American Psychological Association Help Center

Veterans Crisis Line



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