Statistically, your life has been touched at some point by suicide, substance abuse or mental health crisis. In preparing for this story, Kandy shared that she has known three people who have taken their own lives in the past few years. One occurred just a few weeks ago. This is happening for kids in high school, people in high pressure business situations and in families across the country.
Statistics about Suicide
- Suicide rates increased by 30% between 2000 and 2018
- In 2020, the U.S. had one death by suicide every 11 minutes, almost 46,000 people
- In 2020, an estimated 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million planned a suicide attempt and 1.2 million attempted suicide
A life lost to suicide breaks hearts… ongoing.
Learning that someone you know has committed suicide is shocking and heartbreaking. And it’s usually something that causes ongoing sadness for anyone that knew that person, especially their surviving family members. Our enviroment reminds us of the loss… a song, a movie, driving by a certain building, celebrating a holiday, all of these things can trigger the grief we have for the loss of someone we loved dearly.
The statistics are sobering, but there is always hope. An important defense is to make sure support is readily available. Recently, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) launched a new 3-digit dialing code that connects callers to the nationwide hotline for mental health crises. We call 911 for emergencies… and now 988 is the number to call for people experiencing mental health, substance use or suicidal emergencies.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
This new phone number is free and available, day or night, connecting those in need with trained counselors. When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing Lifeline network. Support is available in dozens of languages.
These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary. Numerous studies have shown that callers feel less suicidal, less depressed, less overwhelmed and more hopeful after speaking with a Lifeline counselor.
It’s important to start conversations about mental health with your children and loved ones… you could be saving a life. And we hope that the new 988 hotline will become a powerful way to reduce suicides in our families and communities.