Nearly 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization. Navigating a pandemic and national unrest may contribute to this troubling statistic because fear and anxiety can overwhelm people as they try to understand what’s happening around them.
As National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 6-12) approaches, HSHS St. Vincent, St. Mary’s, St. Nicholas and St. Clare Memorial hospitals remind everyone that if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255, or dial 911.
Alyssa Van Duyse, an HSHS colleague and certified suicide-prevention instructor, says it’s important to observe your own feelings and the feelings of those around you during this uncertain time.
“The word ‘suicide’ is still thought of as taboo – especially in the Midwest – because we’re not so great at talking about our feelings,” Van Duyse said. “That’s why it’s important to recognize the clues that a person may be contemplating suicide.”
To find more information about how you can help someone who’s struggling with mental health, visit cdc.gov.