This September – and every month, actually – Give an Hour encourages you to spread awareness about suicide prevention. Why should only one month of the year be dedicated to something so important? ESPECIALLY when it’s preventable.
We know many of you have been touched by suicide. You may be a mental health professional with clients who are struggling with self-harm or you may be a parent of a child who died by suicide. You may be a colleague of someone who made this final act or you may have battled with suicide yourself. We see you. We feel your hurt. We want to remind you there is hope and you matter.
A few sobering statistics … Dying by suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States.1 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 45,979 deaths by suicide in 2020. That’s about one death every 11 minutes. In 2019, the suicide rate for veterans was more than 1 ½ times that of non-veterans over the age of 18.
The CDC also reports that 90% of all people who died by suicide had a diagnosable mental health condition at their death. And this doesn’t even include the number of people who attempted suicide. We can do better. We MUST do better.
Throughout National Suicide Prevention Month, Give an Hour is going to focus a good portion of its social media messaging, a blog and a website page to raise awareness about suicide prevention. Each Give an Hour program also is engaging in additional actions to emphasize the importance of suicide prevention. Not only do we want everyone to recognize the signs of someone suffering emotionally, we also want you to be reminded about the warning signs and risk factors of someone experiencing suicidal thoughts so you’re able to offer assistance and point them in the right direction to get the help they need.
Please visit the Give an Hour Connect to Hope site. There you will find information and resources to help yourself, a loved one, a family member or someone in your community. You will find our Connect to Hope toolkit. And you will find hope.
Give an Hour does not provide emergency services.