Have you ever thought of the fact that at this moment, someone is thinking about killing themselves? Unfortunately, too many people who appear fine and happy with their lives at the same time have to deal with depression or personality disorders that cause suicidal thoughts. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2020), suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, with 47,511 Americans dying by suicide in 2019. Globally, for the year 2019 only, there were 1.38 million suicide attempts (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2020). These chilling statistics show that the problem cannot and must not be ignored. What is crucial to take into consideration when it comes to suicide is that the problem is preventable with timely, evidence-based, and often inexpensive interventions.
Historically, suicide has been a problem that grew in scope and relevance as time went on. Thus, the CDC (2020) reports that suicide rates increased 33% between 1999 and 2019, with the number of people considering suicide being even higher. It is important to note that suicide affects individuals of all ages, with it being the second leading cause of mortality for people aged between 10 and 34, the fourth cause among 35-44-year-olds, and the fifth leading cause among people aged between 45 and 54 (CDC, 2020). The rates of suicide also vary by ethnicity, race, and other factors, with the highest statistics being among American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White populations (CDC, 2020). Besides, veterans, rural area residents, and workers of specific occupations such as mining and construction are more likely to consider and commit suicide (US Department of Veterans Affairs, 2019). Higher rates of suicidal ideation and behavior have also been noted among LGBTQ+ individuals compared to those identifying as straight.
The sad statistics among the scope of the problem suggest that suicide is a problem with a far-reaching impact, causing emotional, physical, and economic effects. Individuals who attempt to commit suicide and survive may be exposed to severe injuries that have an adverse and consistent effect on their health. There are also mental health challenges, such as the increased risks of depression and other mental health concerns (CDC, 2020). On the bright side, more than 90% of people attempting suicide and surviving never go on to die from it in the future (CDC, 2020). It is notable that both suicide attempts and suicide have an adverse influence on the mental health of friends, loved ones, peers, and the community (Premack Sandler, 2018). The economic effect of suicide on society is also concerning as it costs the United States alone $70 billion per year in both medical and work-loss expenses (CDC, 2021). Therefore, suicide is a problem that affects society in multiple ways.
To conclude, the issue of suicide will remain unaddressed if society does not implement measures to prevent it. It is essential for all members of communities to understand the importance of building healthy and strong individuals, families, and communities. The combination of governmental and community efforts, used systematically, can play a significant role in suicide prevention activities. The strategies available for preventing suicide and managing suicidal ideation are extensive and can range from those designed to closely support people at risk to covering the whole population, regardless of their risk factors. Overall, creating a safe environment in which people feel secure and optimistic about their future and do not consider suicide as a way of dealing with mental health issues.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (2020). Suicide statistics. Web.
CDC. (2020). Facts about suicide. Web.
CDC. (2021). Suicide prevention. Web.
Premack Sandler, E. (2018). The ripple effect of suicide. Web.
US Department of Veterans Affairs. (2019). Mental health. Web.