Qime to reach out to oth­ers to help stem the grow­ing sui­cide rate

Glenside News - - OPINION -

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 tcgn@mont­gomerynews.com.

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