This year, September has been coined Suicide Prevention Month. The goal is to educate Americans on the prevalence of suicide, offer the tools to speak with someone who may be suicidal, and provide resources that can help. Suicidal thoughts do not discriminate, and affect populations equally across race, gender, age, and socioeconomic class. Although it would be a stretch to consider suicide a common occurrence, it is a preventable death, and the amount of preventable suicidal deaths each year warrants a response. Those who have had a loved one commit suicide are shattered by the occurrence, and left with haunting thoughts of “what if..” and “if only…”. Additionally, they are often left alone to cope with their loss because of the social stigma that surrounds suicide. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that there were 41,149 suicides in 2013, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death among Americans, and the 3rd among young people.
Last month, suicide prevention won a major victory in San Francisco when the Golden Gate Bridge approved the funding of a barrier. The site has been the most widely used suicide location in the United States since it was constructed in 1937, and is the second most used location in the world. The Golden Gate Bridge is credited with claiming the lives of 1,600 individuals who have jumped from its heights.
The steel barrier is estimated to cost around $76 million, with the contract being assigned next March.
Mental Health vs. Mental Illness
Because of the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health, we decided to make a few quick points to help clear up some of the confusion.
Mental illness and mental health addiction treatment center is not the same thing. People tend to lump the two together, but mental health is a state of happiness and contentedness, and is more of a spectrum. Mental illness is the far side of that spectrum, and refers to individuals that are suffering from some kind of disorder, like depression.
Mental health is the total of a few different factors, and one’s ability to manage stress and cope with challenging situations. It is just as important as physical health, and improving mental health is just as important as exercising. When asked about their health, people tend to point to diet or exercise as an indicator of how they’re doing but developing positive coping mechanisms and healthy strategies of managing stress can add just as much to your life.
For a more comprehensive definition of mental health, please visit the World Health Organization's website.
Suicide and Addiction
Addictions to drugs and alcohol are a leading contributor to mental illness in the United States and across the world. In addition to the over 40,000 deaths by suicide, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that around 16,000 individuals lost their lives to a drug overdose in 2013. When combined with the millions incarcerated for drug-related crimes, not to mention all those still fighting drug addictions, eliminating substance abuse will go a long way towards reducing the rates of suicide.
In order to do their part, Northbound Treatment Services offers intensive inpatient treatment to all those struggling with substance abuse. Northbound uses evidenced based treatment strategies to offer their clients the highest chances of success, and accepts most forms of insurance.
If you’re struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs, then Northbound can help. Call today at (866) 528-4356.
If your loved is having thoughts of harming themselves, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with someone from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.