As funeral directors, our saddest cases often center around the death of a child. But we are equally affected when death is self-inflicted. Suicide is a serious public health problem in the United States, which affects people of all ages. In fact, nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, which is roughly one death every 40 seconds. In America alone, 123 people die by their own hands each day, bringing the total number of suicidal deaths in the United States to nearly 45,000 every year. Tragically, suicide is the 10thleading cause of death in America among people aged 10-34. Globally, suicide is the 2nd most frequent cause of death among people aged 15-24 years.
Underlying Problem of Suicide
Deaths from suicide are only part of the problem. More than 1.3 million adults self-reported that they attempted to commit suicide. And 10 million adults admit they have had serious thoughts about suicide. On average, one out of every four suicide attempts “succeed.” But tragically, many who attempt but fail at self-inflicted death the first time die on their second attempt. Why do so many people kill themselves? Suicide is rarely caused by a single factor. Although suicide prevention efforts focus on identifying and providing treatment for people who have associated mental health conditions, there are plenty of additional opportunities for prevention.
“Suicide is a leading cause of death for Americans – and it’s a tragedy for families and communities across the country,” said CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, M.D. “From individuals and communities to employers and healthcare professionals, everyone can play a role in efforts to help save lives and reverse this troubling rise in suicide.”
Suicide Mental Health Link
CDC researchers discovered that more than half of the people who died by suicide did not have a known, diagnosed mental health condition at the time of their death. Relationship problems or loss, substance abuse; physical health problems; and job, money, legal or housing stress often contributed to the risk for suicide.
How to Get Help
People typically exhibit warning signs prior to attempting suicide. These include:
- Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
- Displaying extreme mood swings
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness
- Feeling they are a burden to others
- Increasing alcohol and/or drug use
- Looking for ways to commit suicide
- Saying they feel trapped or are in unbearable pain
- Showing rage or talking about expressing revenge
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Talking about the desire to die
- Threatening to self-harm
- Withdrawing from friends and family
Get Help Now
If you or someone you know shows signs that they may be contemplating suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
About Foothill Funeral & Cremation Services in Glendora, California
When the time comes, if you so desire, we would value the opportunity to help you pre-plan for yourself or a family member or friend. Feel free to contact us now to pre-plan your own memorial or at your time of need (626) 335-0615. Our relationship with United Methodist Church and Sacred Heart provide great places for mourners to host funerals and memorials. You’ll love the grandiose yet intimate settings in both locations.