Suicide Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Month

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Leila Nester, Staff Reporter

Suicidal thoughts, like any mental illness can affect anybody; regardless of age, gender, or back ground. Suicide is often a result of an untreated mental illness. September is Suicide awareness month; a time to bring awareness to this topic that is often not cared about.

Suicide is unfortunately very overlooked, so here are some statistics to open your view a bit more:

  • In 2020, 45,979 people died due to suicide 
  • Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the US
  • Everyday approximately 125 Americans die by suicide 
  • Suicide is the 5th leading cause of death for Americans throughout the ages of 15-24
  • For every suicide death there is 25 attempts 
  • 1,149,475 attempts yearly. Thats one attempt every 27.5 seconds
  • Only half of Americans that experience a major episode of depression receive treatment 
  • 80%-90% of people that seek treatment for depression and/or suicidal thoughts are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication
  • The 2nd leading cause of death in 10-14 year-olds is suicide

How can you prevent this?

Well there are many ways that you can prevent suicidal thoughts. 

  • Get the treatment that you need. These thoughts don’t just go away. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help; getting the right treatment will make you feel better about life, and keep you safe.
  • Establish your support network. It may be very difficult to talk about it, or you or your friends and family do not fully understand what you’re going through; which is why communication is very important. Tell them how you feel and reach out to them so that they can try their best to help you or to get you the help that you deserve.

Now unfortunately, not everybody has access to therapy and medication, so here could be some ways to help with these thoughts;

  • Focus on self care
  • Find positive distractions
  • Get regular exercise 
  • Try to eat a balanced diet 
  • Sleep at least 7-8 hours per day

What do I do if my friend is struggling with these thoughts?

Not many people know what to do in a time like this; especially if it’s a friend or loved one. So if somebody that you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, the best thing that you can do is to listen to them without judgement. Have them text/call a crisis line and try to confiscate items that they could use to harm themselves with.


A very good thing would be to be able to recognize these thoughts in yourself or others before it’s too late. Some signs/symptoms include:

  • Talking about suicide, or making statements; for an example “Im going to kill myself” or “I wish I was never born”
  • Getting things to take your life, like stocking up on pills 
  • Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone 
  • Giving away very important stuff to them 
  • Eating or sleeping more or less than normal
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Saying goodbye as if that was the last time they were going to see that person again

What causes these thoughts?

There can be a lot of things that play into thoughts like these. The biggest factor is when people are faced with a very overwhelming situation and they don’t know how to handle it and they think that the only way out is death. A less common factor could be genetics, mental issues can be passed down through genetics. The sad part is that in children/teens they get these thoughts from things that adults might not see as a big deal, so it is often overlooked. For example; a friend moving away or difficulties in school. Or it could be reasons the person isn’t comfortable with sharing such as having a mental issue like depression, bipolar, loss or conflict with family/friends, having a history of mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and so much more.

Which is why it’s very important that when you are talking to a friend that you don’t judge them or bash them for coming to you about problems, as it may cause them to shut down.

Crisis lines and how to access them

If you or a friend is going through a crisis and you need help; here are some websites/ numbers for you to call or visit

  • Call or text 988
  • If you are too uncomfortable to call visit the suicide and crisis lifeline chat at
  • Text NAMI to 741-741

Remember suicidal thoughts don’t just go away on their own; reach out to friends or family that you trust. Take one step at a time and don’t act impulsively.