Intervention During Suicide Prevention Awareness MonthSeptember 9, 2020
There is a confluence between mental illness, mind-altering substance use, and suicide in the United States—it cannot be ignored. When mental health disorders go untreated, people are more likely to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, which exacerbates mental illness symptoms. Those who engage in the above patterns are significantly more likely to have suicidal ideations and act on them — intervention is a must.
It’s not by accident that both Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and National Recovery Month happen simultaneously. Experts have understood that drugs and alcohol addiction play a factor in suicide attempts quite often. The link is glaring, in fact.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) points out that more than one in three people who die by suicide are found to be under the influence of alcohol. Nearly half (46 percent) of people who commit suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition. Moreover, 90 percent of individuals who take their own life have experienced symptoms of mental illness.
Even though suicide can be prevented, and recovery is possible, the suicide rate has increased 31 percent in the U.S. since 2001, according to NAMI. What’s more, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America.
Naturally, the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t making matters any better. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that almost half of respondents in a recent survey reported having at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition.
The CDC found that 13.3 percent of participants began using or increased their substance use to cope with stress or emotions related to the pandemic. Over ten percent seriously considered suicide during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Now, more than ever, is the time for intervention—taking action can save lives.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Week
September 6-12 is Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Please take some time to give hope to men, women, and teens struggling with mental and behavioral health disorders.
Men and younger people are among the most vulnerable demographics; they are at a significant risk of self-harming and self-destructive behaviors. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the fourth leading cause of death for people 35-54. While a more significant number of women attempt suicide, men are nearly four times more likely to die by suicide. However, NAMI points out that:
“Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.”
Men and women in recovery can help make a difference during these challenging days and months. Taking time to share valuable information and resources online could encourage someone suffering to seek help. Moreover, you could also share your story to let people know that they are not alone—that you understand their pain and suffering. Small acts can help someone find the courage to seek assistance.
You can share some of the facts we listed above or post infographics to your social media feeds. If you feel comfortable sharing your experience with mental illness, addiction, or suicide, please click here for more information.
Your experience could also help loved ones – of individuals who are suffering – grasp mental illness better and learn what is helpful during an intervention. National Recovery and Suicide Prevention Month are about raising awareness and connecting individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services.
Planning an Intervention
Families of individuals who are suffering can find many valuable resources that can help them start the conversation about recovery. However, seeking professional assistance is always helpful for beginning the recovery process. A certified intervention professional can help guide you through the steps for staging an intervention.
At Whitman Recovery Service, we have the expertise to help you help your loved one. We have a 98 percent intervention success rate and over 30 years of experience. Please contact us today to learn more about our services.