World Suicide Prevention Day

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World Suicide Prevention Day is today, September 10th. This day is within the larger framework of the entire month of September which is Suicide Prevention Month.

There are many statistics that are disturbing and shocking about the suicide rate. The one that I continue to find powerful is the comparison of the number of deaths by suicide to one commercial plane crash every other day. In other words, over 80 people die by suicide each day in the United States. If a plane were crashing every other day, killing everyone on board, we would all be more than concerned and would be working to fix the problem.

As we work to address the suicide epidemic, many helpful resources have emerged. One of the biggest changes in the suicide prevention movement has been a push to involve individuals beyond the healthcare and mental healthcare professional communities. There are several projects that seek to educate everyday people and equip them with the tools to save a life. So often, a person who is suicidal does not intersect with a healthcare professional trained to recognize the signs and symptoms, although, sometimes they do and the signs are missed. It is important for all of us to do our part to prevent this kind of death.

“Take 5 To Save Lives” is a website and movement that makes it incredibly easy to do your part right now. Take 5 minutes to take 5 steps to join the movement and educate yourself on how you can save a life. As I frequently quote, former Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher, “Suicide is our most preventable cause of death.”

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