By Rayiah Ross
This September, here at Benicia High School, we are acknowledging and spreading awareness on Suicide Prevention Month. As a community, it is our responsibility to look out for the people who may be struggling and support them through whatever times they might be going through. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, each year 44,193 Americans die by suicide. Each one of these individuals is part of our community and have a network of family, friends, and work or schoolmates. Regardless of circumstance, we have an important role in supporting those who are vulnerable.
For many suicide prevention advocates, it took the death of someone close to them for them to be aware of the issue. No person would like to think that the person next to them is suicidal, but it is actually more common than you think. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention stated that there are 121 suicides per day. Suicide, like many other human behaviors, have no single cause. There are, of course, risk factors such as: depression, health conditions, financial challenges, legal problems, and abuse relationship problems, but there is no leading cause. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, many people who are suicidal offer several warning signs including, talking about wanting to die, looking for a way to kill oneself, talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose, talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain, talking about being a burden to others, increasing the use of alcohol or drugs, acting anxious, agitated or recklessly, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawing or feeling isolated, showing rage or talking about seeking revenge and displaying extreme mood swings. “The more of the signs a person shows, the greater the risk,” officials of the New Mexico Department of Health stated.
If someone exhibits warning signs of imminent suicide, do not leave the person alone. If you or someone you know might be suicidal or have thoughts of hurting themselves or others, contact the National Suicide Prevention Line, 1(800)-273-8255. They are available 24 hours and provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional 7 days a week.