Qime to reach out to others to help stem the growing suicide rate
World Mental eealth aay was WednesdayI lct. NM. Although the day has passedI every day can be a day to help save a life. ft does little good to tell someone that there are other people feeling worse. fn the rnited States military around the world and hereI at homeI in both the armed services and the civilian populationI suicide is increasing at an alarming rate. fn the last 45 yearsI suicide rates have increased SM percent worldwide. According to the World eealth lrganization de- pression affects more than P5M million people of all ages.
Every NP.T minutes someone in the rnited States dies of suicide. According to the American coundation for Suicide PreventionI in OMNMI P8IPS4 people died from suicideI an upswing from NVVV when OVINVV took their own lives. Although the population steadily increasedI the death rate per NMMIMMM population has risen faster. qhe increase in suicide is a major problem in the militaryI among the youth of America and among the elderly. qhe Army suicide rate in July was the highest for one month with P8 deathsI a OO percent increase. qhe mental health rates have risen S5 percent in the military since OMMM with VPSIMMM troops having at least one mental health problem. When questioned by health pro- fessionalsI there was a desire to end intense emotional stress.
A study of students revealed that T.8 percent had attempted suicide one or more times during the NO months before the survey and N5.8 percent of students had considered attempting suicide in the previous NO months. qhe thoughtsI planning and attempts at suicide were higher among young adults N8 to OV years old than among adults aged PM or older.
Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among those aged 5 to N4 years and is the third leading cause of death among those N5 to O4 years old. MeanwhileI the suicide rate for men rises with age. fn men over age S5I the suicide rate is seven times that of females over S5.
qhe statistics on suicide are frightening and the increase of suicide is alarming. We wonder what has happened and what can be done. cor a countryI the rnited States ranked P8th in the world with NT.T male deaths and 4.5 female deaths per NMMIMMM population in OMNN. Lithuania with SN.P male and NM.4 female deaths in OMNN had the highest incidence of suicide for a country. qhe Russian cederation had 5P.V male and V.5 female deaths by suicide in OMMS. fnterestinglyI Egypt reported M.N male death and zero female deaths by suicide in OMMV. WorldwideI the male suicide rate Ls FORsH WR fiYH WLPHs KLJKHU IRU males than females. ft should be mentioned that although the male suicide rate is highI women attempt suicide three times as often as men.
Suicidal thoughts or tendencies to act are an emergency. fn most casesI the person is depressed and might have used alcohol or substance abuse as “self treatment.” qo save a life requires immediate help. qhe person may plan the use of a gun or have other thoughts on how to end life. A professionalI such as a psychiatrist or crisis center personnel must be involvedI immediately. qhe suicidal patient must not be left alone. ft should be mentioned that a suicidal person might suddenly deny thoughts of suicide or seem to understand the seriousness of the situation and seem to take everything lightly as if planning to get future help.
Suicidal tendencies require immediate help by a professional. Call VNN. aon’t rely on a pep talk.
Dr. Milton Friedman can be reached at email@example.com.