Don’t Be Afraid to Talk With Someone

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk With Someone

Centuries later, Netflix's controversial drama "13 Reasons Why" has sparked similar results.

Suicide rates have been rising for years - by 25 percent nationally and 27 percent in ME over that last two decades, across age, gender, race and ethnicity, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC report found that other issues, including relationship problems, substance abuse, physical health problems, job- or money-related stress, legal or housing problems often contribute to suicide risk. We learn how research can help us improve our dialogue on mental health. In the month that followed there was sweeping news coverage, public memorials and a 12 percent increase in suicides.

The rate of suicide in the United States has climbed dramatically over the last few decades, including in the healthcare workforce. During Governor Bill Haslam's administration, he and his team dedicated funding to the Office of the Deputy Medical Examiner to enable Medical Examiners in Tennessee to utilize updated reporting technologies as well as receive more information of suicide and training, leading to better reporting. While psychiatry services are covered by OHIP in Ontario, a visit to a psychologist, psychotherapist or counsellor is not, and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association estimates 50-minute session costs at between $60 and $150 - out of reach for many. Going back as recently as 2010, Wyoming had the highest suicide rate in the nation, at 23.2 suicides per 100,000 people.

"Searches for precise suicide methods increased after the series' release", wrote the study's authors, while also noting that it was unclear whether an increase in searches equals an increase in actual suicide attempts (though there's typically a correlation between the two).

So what is it about reports and even fictionalized depictions of suicide that can set off some individuals? TSPN's Executive Director, Scott Ridgway, MS, highlights that "the number one risk factor for suicide is undiagnosed depression". That's far more than the usual surge of 20 to 30 percent after a high-profile suicide, she said. If someone is concerned about a loved one, clinicians can contact that person.

She said there are red flags to watch out for. She says such subtle symptoms as someone losing their temper more easily or whose sleep patterns and normal behavior have changed should prompt a caring conversation that might avert a potential tragedy. Tens of millions of us-about one in every five Americans-live among you every day without you knowing that we have a mental illness.

There may be other resources through your local diocese or county. Send them a text and say congratulations...

"Be available", he says.

"Talking is what makes the difference, that personal connection that you have, one to one, where it's being talked about".

As always, if you or someone you know needs help, please reach out.

If you (or someone you know) feel hopeless and have been thinking of ending it all, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

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