The tragedy of suicide occurs on a daily basis at the rate of one death every 40 seconds, but it often doesn’t hit the news until high-profile celebrities become a part of the fray. Celebrity deaths over the last few years have pierced an illusion that they have it all. The passing of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade sparked increased awareness because they were household names. In the US suicide rates have increased by 25% since 1999. With these tragedies comes a closer look at the public health crisis that takes more than 800,000 lives each year.
There are more suicides annually than deaths from homicide and war combined, though murder and combat make the headlines. Moreover, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 after traffic accidents, and studies show that suicide rates have increased steadily across nearly all demographics over the past two decades.
Mental illness is not preventable, but treatment does help to reduce deep depression and anxiety that lead to suicide, along with community support and understanding, and ongoing care.
If you are suffering or know someone who has shown suicidal tendencies, call for help. For immediate care, call 911 and get professional assistance, or to talk to a trained counselor at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)
For those who don’t need immediate medical assistance, sometimes it’s helpful just to have someone to talk to. Licensed therapists are even available online for on demand video or chat counseling. Talk it out if you need to.