I’ve been debating whether or not to write this particular article today. It’s not one that’s uplifting but I decide to go ahead with it because it may be informative to some. This past week, there were 2 high profile suicides: Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. I am completely unfamiliar with Ms. Spade and was only slightly familiar with Mr. Bourdain. It has to be heartbreaking for their families.
These 2 deaths however did spotlight, if just for a few hours, the tragedy of suicide in our country. In the United States alone, there are 123 suicides daily. That number is double, yearly, the number of murders. That is a shocking statistic and its shameful that only when someone famous dies, does this become a story at all.
This has become a crisis on the scale of the opioids, which politicians are always willing to get in front of a camera and talk about (and do nothing). I would love to see some reporters ask politicians on both sides where they stand on mental health issues in general and specifically on the number of suicides in the country. I wonder how fast they’d run away?
Antidepressant use in the United States has risen more than 65% since 1999 with almost 13% of those over 12 years on these drugs.
Although these drugs help with depression and anxiety, according to one expert I heard yesterday, there can be other factors as well that affect those who may be suicidal. loneliness, separation from family, and also financial problems. Some people come to believe they have no way out of any of these problems.
They can get help and that’s where organizations like The National Suicide Prevention Lifelife may be effective. The site has some helpful information if you know someone in crisis.
We as a society can and must do more to prevent suicide and have it become something rare. We can help our friends and family members that may be in jeopardy as well as petition our representatives to make eliminating the scourge a priority.