As those of you who know me and follow this blog are well aware, Suicide Prevention is an important cause to me. Each year I talk about suicide prevention. I raise funds. I walk. I do it because I believe I can make a difference, and I know with your help, we can make a difference.
I do it for Jay. I do it for Barbara. I do it for Lyssa. I do it for Austin. I do it for my friends who I know struggle.
I do it because I don’t want to add another name to the list.
Information / Statistics
I want to share a some information and facts from the American Foundation for Suicide Preventions (AFSP) and the CDC, and then I’m going to ask that you help – that you choose to make a difference.
- Suicide is one of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States, and it’s preventable
- As the suicide rate continues to rise, we must make mental health a national priority — and advocate for more investment in suicide research and nationwide prevention efforts
- There is no single cause for suicide, and suicide risk increases when several health factors and life stressors converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair — learn the warning signs at afsp.org/signs
- Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide, and together we can learn the suicide risks and warning signs, and encourage those who struggle to seek help
- Assume you are the only one who will reach out, have an honest conversation, ask directly about suicide, and let them know you care
- Conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance use problems, especially when unaddressed, increase the risk of suicide — most people who actively manage their mental health conditions go on to engage in life
- If we encourage more people to seek treatment, we will make a huge difference in improving mental health and reducing suicide
- Suicide is complex, answers may not come easily, and it may take time to understand the thoughts and feelings associated with a suicide — you don’t have to go through this difficult experience alone
- Driving demand for better treatment will improve the field of mental health
- We can #StopSuicide
- 45,979 Americans died by suicide in 2020
- It is the 3rd leading cause of death for ages 10-19
- It is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 20-34
- It is the 4th leading cause of death for ages 35-44
- Over 1/3 of people who died by suicide were 55 or older
- 1.2 million Americans attempted suicide in 2020.
- In 2019, the suicide rate for Veterans was 1.5x higher than for a non-Veteran.
- 54% of Americans have been affected by suicide in some way.
- 90% of those who died by suicide had a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death.
- 46% of Americans ages 18+ living with a mental health condition received treatment in the past year.
- 72% of communities in the United States did not have enough mental health providers to serve residents in 2021, according to federal guidelines.
How You Can Make an Impact
You can make a difference. Here’s how:
Walk with us!
- Join the Jay Walkers on October 29th and walk with us either virtually (send us a photo of you walking to be included in our walk collage) or in Austin, TX at the Capitol. (Click on the link and select “Join Our Team”.)
- You’ll be with a welcoming and supportive community
- Let’s have the biggest group yet!
- Show Austin, TX that Mental Health Matters and help remove the stigma around suicide
Make a Donation!
- Donate to AFSP through the Jay Walkers Fundraising Page. (Click the link and select “Donate”)
- We brought back a lot of fun incentives – haikus, custom disaster-pieces, and bad performances to name a few – all for a good cause!
- Plus, your donation goes directly to AFSP whose mission is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. (Read more about the work they do by following the AFSP link)
Choose to make a difference today.
Thank you all for your continued support. I look forward to seeing you on the 29th when I will be speaking on the Capitol steps.