September is Suicide Awareness Month

2 weeks 5 days 56 minutes ago Thursday, September 03 2020 Sep 3, 2020 Thursday, September 03, 2020 5:31:00 PM CDT September 03, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
By: Hope Beitchman, KOMU 8 Producer

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America. The American Psychological Association says COVID-19's impact on suicide is still unknown. However, the pandemic has increased stress for many Americans while at the same time, making it difficult to access resources used to cope with stress. 

Dr. Barbara Rothbaum, a clinical psychologist and psychiatry professor at Emory University School of Medicine, says suicidal thoughts are rising during the pandemic. 

"There is no one in the world that COVID hasn't touched," Dr. Rothbaum said.

In June, 5,400 adults were surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It showed twice as many people reported severe consideration of suicide in the 30 days before being questioned than adults in 2018. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness says suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. Suicidal thoughts were significantly higher among young adults, unpaid caregivers, essential workers, Hispanics and African-Americans. According to the American Psychiatric Association, suicide is the second leading cause of death in people aged 10 to 34, and the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.

If someone you know implies they are considering suicide, the American Psychiatric Association says you should listen to them and take their concerns seriously. Then try and encourage them to seek immediate help from a mental health professional. Do not leave them alone. 

If you're experiencing a suicidal crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741 to get help.

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