September is recognized as Suicide Prevention Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages 10-34. In addition to this, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Along with this, the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that 46 percent of all people who lose their lives through suicide had been diagnosed with a mental illness. The purpose of Suicide Prevention Month is to promote suicide prevention awareness and to spread knowledge about resources available for those who struggle with mental illness. Suicide Prevention Month is important because this month is dedicated for people to come together and discuss suicide which can be a difficult topic to speak about.
Although historically there has been a stigma surrounding the topic of suicide, it is important for people to discuss. Taking part in open conversations about suicide lessens the stigma around suicide which leads to people who are struggling to reach out and ask for help. According to Suicide Prevention Lifeline, people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts feel relief when people ask them about their mental health. Furthermore, discussing mental health can reduce suicidal thoughts.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide rates have increased 35 percent since 1999. Due to increasing suicide rates, it is important to be aware of the signs of struggling mental health since suicide is preventable. Some of the warning signs for suicide include new behaviors such as increased use of drugs or alcohol, extreme mood swings, talking about being a burden to others, and withdrawing or isolating themselves. While these signs cannot predict whether a person will attempt suicide, knowing the signs and reaching out to a person who is struggling can make a positive impact in their life.
For more information about Suicide Prevention Month, please visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
Along with this, Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a wonderful resource to learn more about suicide, the warning signs, and risk factors.
Additionally, you can visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness to learn more about mental illness and suicide.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns, or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents part of Nueces County. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-463-0672.