In the month of September, we remember those we have lost to suicide and work harder than ever to address and destigmatize the issue. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is ranked as the tenth leading cause of death in the US, and it is more likely to become a hurdle for Americans who suffer from depression and/or anxiety. Dr. Mark Pollack, the president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, explains that “effectively diagnosing and treating both anxiety disorders and depression, especially when they co-occur, are critical pathways to intervening and reducing suicide crises.”
One in five Americans have felt the effects of suicide, and yet it is rarely talked about out in the open. Organizations such as “Take 5 to Save a Live” are working to inform the public of how we can join the fight to stop suicide. According to their campaign, the five steps are:
- Learning the warning signs to spot in someone who may be suicidal.
- Joining the movement by signing up to “Take 5” and sharing their message on social media.
- Spreading the word by telling five people about World Suicide Prevention Day.
- Offering support by learning what to do if you encounter a person in trouble.
- Reaching out if you or a friend needs help. Learn who you can talk to and where you can go.
The organization also provided the following warning signs linked with suicidal persons:
- Disrupted sleep
- Loss of interest in activities
- Extreme self-denial, lack of pleasure
- Extreme self-hatred
- Feelings of not belonging
- Thinking of self as a burden to others
- Sudden positive mood change
- Suicidal talk
Do your part this month by “Taking 5” and spreading awareness for the prevention of suicide.