awareness & prevention tips
by dr. kimberly kimbrough
September is suicide awareness and prevention month. Today, September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day! As many know, I lost my son to suicide at the tender age of 19. This was the most devastating news I could have ever received as a mother. Since that day, I have made it my personal mission to advocate for the lives of so many who have experienced or who are experiencing such a sensitive walk of life. Why do I call it a walk? Day by day, one step at a time, we strive to find the strength and courage to face this fight of survival! We are all in this together! Did you know that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the Center for Disease Control. Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, which is roughly one death every 40 seconds. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24 years. Think about this age bracket for a moment. Really…think about it. That mean our babies; our middle, high school, and college babies. Although these stats can be alarming, there is so much you and I can do. If you are someone you know is battling suicide ideation (thoughts of suicide), or have lost someone to suicide, please seek immediate help.
Things to remember:
- Signs of suicide may not be apparent. A person can appear to be happy and well, yet, suffering silently. I know this personally.
- Communication is a key factor that could possibly help prevent someone from dying by suicide. Be careful in your conversation; your approach to how and what you say to a person is vital. You just never know.
- Support. Support. Support. This is so important. When a person is battling with suicide, or any type of mental illness, find out how you can support. A weekly phone call, a lunch date, a financial donation to a Non-profit or suicide organization, even a simple, “How are you,” can mean so much to show you care.
- LISTEN! Never take conversations lightly with someone who may be battling depression. If a comment is made about self-harm, or not wanting to be here in this (world) anymore, don’t take it lightly. Find ways to offer support or find someone who can possibly help them. You could be saving a life!
Remember, we are ALL in this FIGHT together!!! For more information or to learn more about the fight against suicide, please visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC).