World Suicide Prevention Day
Devotional for Thursday, September 10
Dear friends! Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, so I thought I would talk with you about the rise of suicide and other mental health issues during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “from June 24—30, U.S. adults reported mental health conditions in higher numbers due to Covid-19, with 40% of U.S. adults reporting struggling with mental health or substance use issues. Here are some staggering numbers that have recently come to the surface:
- 31% reported struggling with anxiety and depression.
- 13% reported they had started or increased substance abuse.
- 11% reported they had seriously considered suicide.
- At most risk for suicide are young adults (18-24 year olds—25.5%), essential workers (21.7%), and minority racial/ethnic groups (18.6% Hispanic, 15.1% non-Hispanic Black). There is also a high concern for the elderly, many of whom have found themselves isolated in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
What can you do to help?
- Know some of the most common signs of suicide.
- Preoccupation with death and dying.
- Drastic changes in personality and behavior.
- A recent severe loss (such as a relationship) or the threat of a loss.
- Unexpected preparations for death, such as making out a will.
- Giving away prized possessions.
- Loss of interest in life, or in personal appearance.
- Uncharacteristic impulsiveness, recklessness, or risk-taking.
- A previous suicide attempt.
- Ask the person directly if they are thinking about taking their life.
- Direct them to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or their personal doctor or health-care provider.
Though this is a very uncomfortable matter to talk about, bringing these concerns out “into the light” can help diminish the fear and shame that often go with such feelings and enable a person to find the help and support needed to overcome them.
Friends, this is a tough time we are living in today! Please know you are not alone. Also, please know Darcy and I are available to talk. Just let us know. My cell phone number is: 734-546-0496.