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“I think suicide is sort of like cancer was 50 years ago. People don’t want to talk about it, they don’t want to know about it. People are frightened of it, and they don’t understand, when actually these issues are treatable.” – Judy Collins.

According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention:

One in every 100 deaths worldwide is the result of suicide.

The global suicide rate is over twice as high among men than women.

Over half of all deaths by suicide occur before the age of 50 years old.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide Prevention Month provides a dedicated time each year for people, organizations, and communities to join their voices to share the message that suicide can be prevented, and healing is possible.

In recent years, society has become more open and receptive to discussions and conversations about suicide. However, there is still a stigma surrounding suicide and suicide rates are increasing at alarming rates among people of all ages. Suicide is one of the fastest-growing epidemics around the world. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention approximately 44,000 people in the United States alone commit suicide each year.

There is no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors and health issues come together to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated.

Conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance use problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. However, when treated mental health conditions and suicidal thoughts can be managed and people can overcome feeling suicidal.

Everyone has a role to play to save lives and create healthy and strong individuals, families, and communities. We can come together to reduce factors that increase the risk for suicidal thoughts and behavior, and increase the factors that help strengthen, support, and protect people from suicide.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately by calling or texting the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Suicide is preventable.