Let’s talk about Suicide Prevention

September is Suicide Prevention Month, so let’s talk about what is happening and what we can do.

People in our communities are struggling more than ever. Did you know:

  • Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.;
  • Suicide rates in Central Florida are at a 20-year high;
  • 9% of kids in grades 9 – 12 have attempted suicide;
  • LGBTQ+ youth are 4x more likely to have serious thoughts of suicide; and
  • 600 veterans die by suicide each year in Florida.

It’s difficult to talk about these numbers and think about the loved ones we are losing to clinical depression and other mental health issues. We can help those in need by talking more about this issue and working to spread awareness and overcome stigmas. Four out of five individuals considering suicide give some sign of their intentions. That means for 80% of these individuals, we have an opportunity to recognize the warning signs and intervene!

Research shows people who are having thoughts of suicide feel relief when someone asks about them in a caring way. Acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are concerned a loved one may be struggling with thoughts of suicide:

  • Check in on them and be compassionate;
  • Don’t be afraid to ask them directly if they have had thoughts of suicide;
  • Remember and share the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline; and
  • Encourage them to talk to a behavioral health professional.

Prevention and professional help are critical when we are talking about the stress and depression that can interfere with our daily lives and impact our will to live. Suicidal ideation and its causes need to be addressed today. If you think you or someone you know may be struggling, call Aspire Health Partners confidential hotline, available 24/7 at (407) 875-3700 option 3.

Thank you for staying aware and seeking to do your part.