Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Here are a few surprising statistics from the International Association for Suicide Prevention:
· It is estimated that 5% of people attempt suicide at least one time in their life.
· One million people across the globe die by suicide each year
· There is one death by suicide every 40 seconds.
· The number of suicide attempts may be up to 20 times the number of deaths by suicide.
· The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths to homicide and war combined.
While the above statistics are interesting, the statistic I’m curious about is how many of us suffer silently with thoughts of killing ourselves. How many of us are in the midst of a struggle that no one else knows about? That would be an interesting statistic. As I considered this, I initially thought we would be surprised at how high that number would be. Perhaps it would be countless. Upon further reflection I believe we wouldn't be surprised one bit. Many of us are deeply aware of the pain and struggles both in our own lives and the lives of those around us. We know how close we or others have come to suicide. The first statistic to be reduced is the number of us suffering silently. I hope that number plummets and I think the other numbers mentioned above will follow.
For those who are struggling with thoughts of suicide please talk to someone. Just letting someone know how you are feeling is a great first step. Hopefully there is someone in your life that you trust, but if you don’t have someone like that in your life here are some links to people who are trained to help. There are many other helpful resources available. I would be happy to help connect you to them.
Multnomah County Crisis Line (503) 988-4888
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255