We know that mental health is just as important as physical health. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance use problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. Unfortunately, suicide is one of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. Now more than ever, we need to spread the message that suicide is preventable. Sometimes, life stresses and other health issues can lead someone to feel hopelessness and despair.
Research and education play a key role in the fight against suicide, but simply raising awareness and talking about mental health and suicide prevention can make a big impact. Why? People suffering from mental illness face many cultural barriers to seeking treatment. Raising awareness about the importance of mental health and suicide prevention creates a culture—in schools and in workplaces—where taking care of mental health is the smart thing to do – and just as important as your physical health.
Studies show that over 90 percent of people who died by suicide were suffering from a mental illness at the time, most often depression. The problem: for every five people who suffer from mental illness,only 1 seeks treatment. Yet, most people who actively manage their mental health conditions lead fulfilling lives.
In time for National Suicide Prevention Week (September 10-16), Dr. Christine Moutier, AFSP’s Chief Medical Officer, is available for live interviews to raise awareness about what we can do to reduce the suicide rate and provide steps to how parents can talk to their kids in the best way about mental health and suicide prevention.
For more information, please visit www.afsp.org[afsp.org]