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Help Save Lives: Help Stop Suicide Stigma

By: Denise Holcomb

In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. It is a major health problem in our society that has continued to devastate families, individuals, schools, churches, and society. 


Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults ages 10-24 years.  According to Joshua Gordon in his article Addressing the Crisis of Black Youth Suicide, “one often overlooked aspect of the rising rates of suicide in the U.S. is its impact on youth — and in particular, its impact on Black youth.” In Ohio, according to the Preliminary Data Summary: Ohio Suicide Deaths, in 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death among Ohioans 10-34 years of age and the 11th leading cause of death in Ohio overall. In addition, although the data for 2020 is not complete, as of July 6, 2021, there were 1,641 suicide deaths reported for 2020. 


The question you might be asking yourself right now is, “what can I do about this?” For others, you may be saying “suicide hasn’t occurred in my family, so why is this important to me?” Well, to both statements I would say prevention and awareness is the preparation of the unexpected, and in this case, the unwelcome.  It’s all about awareness and prevention. Awareness is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.” Prevention is defined as “the action of stopping something from happening or arising.” To do both we must Educate, Believe, and Act. Educate ourselves by knowing how to prevent suicide, and knowing the risk factors.  Believe that what we learn can work. Finally, when we see signs, Act and help save a life. It can be just that simple! If you are not sure how to help in a crisis, don't be afraid, don't hesitate, to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

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