When we get into college, someone typically talks to us about college life, so we are prepared, & know what to expect – the highlights & some of the challenges.
When we go in for surgery, someone who’s had the procedure before, talks to us abt their experience, so we know what to expect – the possible consequences, the logistics, the hopeful outcomes.
By the stats shared here, bc we lose about 45,000 ppl in the US to suicide each year, it means we have just under 12 Million SURVIVORS of major suicidal thoughts – who know WHAT they FEEL like, yet we aren’t talking openly about them, to prepare others in case they happen TO them? Why?
These stats blew my mind when I compiled them: 723X the number of major suicidal thoughts happen per year (major risk), as fire injuries (major risk) – yet we all learn Stop, Drop, & Roll, & most don’t learn a suicide prevention tool/plan/strategy. Why? (Btw I’m not advocating we stop fire safety…but that we add suicide prevention).
Are we afraid to talk about it, bc we fear MORE suicides will happen if we do? Consider this from the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
“We conducted a review of the published literature examining whether inquiring or talking about suicide induces suicidal ideation in adults and adolescents, and general and at-risk populations. None found a statistically significant increase in suicidal ideation among participants talked to or asked about suicidal thoughts.
Our findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce, rather than increase suicidal ideation, and may lead to improvements in mental health in treatment-seeking populations.”
It’s time we normalized talking about suicide, giving people a heads up as to what they might feel if the thoughts arise, & giving them a positive plan of action to follow if they have the thoughts.
I’ll share our “L.I.F.E. Saver” tool for schools and offices, in Stories. It’s a Stop, Drop, & Roll of suicide prevention: poster & video. We GIVE this away, bc we want so bad to see these numbers go down, & fewer & fewer lives lost. Per the above stats & research, there’s no reason NOT to address it!