Suicide is one of the most disruptive and tragic events a family and a community can experience, with more than 950 lives lost in Tennessee each year.
“We’re trying to raise public awareness about suicide,” said Bryan Herriman, director at CHEER Mental Health. “It’s easier to reach out for help if you feel you’re not alone.”
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
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.
Suicide is never caused by a single event. It is the result of many factors over a period of time. Pressures such as unrealistic academic, professional, social or family expectations can create a strong sense of rejection and can lead to deep disappointment. Teens and young adults are especially prone to feelings of loneliness, hopelessness and rejection as a result of these pressures.
Statistics from the Tennessee Department of Health:
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of all deaths in Tennessee and the third leading cause of death among people from ages 15 to 24, and the second leading cause of death among adults 25-34.
Tennessee veterans, active-duty military personnel, and National Guardsmen face a disproportionate risk as compared to the general population of Tennessee, with more dying from suicide than combat.
The highest risk for suicide is among the survivors of those who died by suicide or those who have attempted suicide.
More people die by suicide each year than from homicide, AIDS, or drunk driving. Some 42,000 Americans die by suicide each year.
Suicide is the leading cause of violent deaths in Tennessee, as well as nationally and worldwide, far above homicide and death due to natural disasters.
Every day, 117 people die by suicide in the United States – about one every 12 minutes.
Public awareness of the terrifying problem is considered the key to preventing further suffering and loss of life. To help in the effort, Warren County Executive Herschel Wells and Van Buren County Mayor Greg Wilson have made September Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in their counties.
Mental health experts say never keep a person’s suicidal feelings a secret. Saving a life is more important than keeping a promise.
If you know someone who is thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The nationwide hotline connects to a nationwide network of certified local crisis centers, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.