Every year 10th October marks the World Mental Health Day and is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). This year the WFMH has decided to make Suicide Prevention the main theme.
Mental health and suicides are treated as taboo topics to be discussed. People shy away and are uncomfortable to open up their feelings with others. Society treats mental health issues as a sign of weakness, this flawed mentality causes suppression of owning to their emotions in some people.
According to the WHO, more than 800,000 people die by suicide a year, making it the principal cause of death among people 15-29 years old.
Suicides are the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 47,000 deaths in 2017 were suicides.
- Suicides ranked as the 2nd highest cause of death between the ages of 10-34 and the 4th leading cause between the ages of 35-54.
- Suicide deaths ranging between ages 10-14 (517) were twice the rate as compared to homicides(178).
These statistics are an unfortunate eye-opener to the current state of deaths caused by suicide in the U.S.
Suicide Prevention Does Exist
We should remember that no two people are the same. Our passions, interests, even our opinions on a simple selection such as pizza toppings can be different. So why should we expect everyone to deal with issues in a similar manner?
One of the main mistakes we make is, assuming that another person might handle or react to a situation the way we do. A seemingly minor problem for us may affect catastrophically to another individual.
It is quite disturbing how young children are prone to such behaviour due to bullying, cyberbullying, sexual abuse and violence. There are various contributing factors for a person to take such drastic measures, but suicide can be prevented and it is within our power to create precautions.
We Can Make a Difference
As mentioned earlier, we must not treat mental health and suicide as taboo subjects. Rather we must talk openly and create awareness so that anyone going through a difficult time can talk openly and share their feelings.
The society should learn to be aware and identify issues and not hold prejudice against anyone who is suffering from mental health issues. We can start an initiative by spreading mental health awareness and knowledge at our workplace, schools and neighbourhoods.
If you are in crisis, seek help by contacting the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 available 24/7 with confidential support.