Every year in September, the United States observes National Suicide Prevention Week, a campaign to spread awareness about this social ill, its prevention, and the warning signs. It aims to promote a better understanding of suicide to the general public with a view to erasing the stigma associated with it, encouraging people to seek mental health treatment and counseling and providing support to people who have had attempts at ending their lives.
Suicide prevention is an ongoing and joint program of relevant government agencies and non-profit organizations. Its activities include promoting public awareness, mental health education, and availing of helpful resources, including a 24/7/365 toll-free hotline and Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741. Other programs are public service announcements through radio programs and social media, and webinars for the education of health professionals. Music and sports celebrities have pledged to volunteer their presence to draw in the crowd, as more participants will help in wider dissemination of suicide prevention strategies and support for families who have lost a member through suicide.
The number of suicide cases in the US has risen to alarming numbers, consistently increasing over almost two decades, as data from the CDC shows.
Not included in the chart above is data for 2017, which records 47,173 deaths by self-harm, or 14.48 per 100,000 population, an increase from the previous years.
Quotes about suicide
Quotes about suicide can help us understand some of its whys and wherefores, and make us better able to help those who are at risk and their families.
Suicide is the No. 2 cause of death among young people, and one of the factors leading to it is social isolation. School educators can help spot students who are regularly alone and don’t interact with other students, as they are prone to suicidal ideations. Parents should form close bonds with their kids and encourage them to talk, to learn about their lives outside of the house.
Below are lyrics from different songs of Linkin Park. On hindsight, they became quotes about suicide when the band’s frontman, Chester Bennington, killed himself by hanging at age 41. Obviously, he talked, or sang, about suicide a lot. But who knew he would actually do it?
“Should have stayed…where there signs I ignored…Who cares if one more light goes out…well, I do.“Linkin Park, One More Light
If you know of somebody who talks about taking their life, take them seriously and get help. It’s a warning sign of suicide.
But Linkin Park’s song saved someone else from jumping off a ledge. Because a stranger cared enough to stop and talk to the man.
Suicide loss survivors are often left out in support programs. Friends are unsure of how to approach them and if the survivors are mum on the cause of death, it makes it doubly difficult. Yet, they need support and guidance, too.
In most cases, suicide is a solitary event and yet it has often far-reaching repercussions for many others. It is rather like throwing a stone into a pond; the ripples spread and spread.
Stigma is the biggest obstacle to giving support to family members of a death by suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Week aims to take away the shame and stigma attached to them. Survivors also have to deal with the grief, remorse and guilt feelings. Support groups in the community and online are available for suicide loss survivors.
If someone in your family or a friend is recovering from depression, be discreetly vigilant. Suicide attempts in people with depressive disorders happen when they suddenly appear to be calm. It may be a sign that a decision to end one’s life has been made.
“Nobody has ever killed themselves over a broken arm. But every day, thousands of people kill themselves because of a broken heart. Why? Because emotional pain hurts much worse than physical pain.”Oliver Markus
Broken relationships are one of life’s significant stressors and many a suicide has been committed because of breakups. If you or someone you know is going through a difficult separation, offer support through your presence and advise them to seek professional help.
“If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.” – Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
Finally, cultivate positive emotions and behaviors to prevent thoughts of suicide. Hope and optimism, altruism, compassion and empathy, and gratitude will broaden your perspective, strengthen your relationships, and make life, in general, more meaningful.