Reach out to oth­ers to help stem grow­ing sui­cide rate

The Colonial - - OPINION - Dr. Mil­ton Fried­man

Wed­nes­day, Oct. 10, was World Men­tal Health Day. AOWKRuJK WKH dDy KDs SDssHd, ev­ery day can be a day to help save a life. It does lit­tle good to tell some­one that there are other peo­ple feel­ing worse.

In the United States mil­i­tary around the world and here, at home, in both the armed ser­vices and the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion, sui­cide is in­creas­ing at an alarm­ing rate.

In the last 45 years, sui­cide rates have in­creased 60 per­cent world­wide.

AFFRUdLnJ WR WKH :RUOd Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion de­pres­sion af­fects more than 350 mil­lion peo­ple of all ages.

Ev­ery 13.7 min­utes some­one in the United States dies of sui­cide.

AFFRUdLnJ WR WKH APHULFDn Foun­da­tion for Sui­cide Preven­tion, in 2010, 38,364 peo­ple died from sui­cide, an up­swing from 1999 when 29,199 took their own lives.

AOWKRuJK WKH SRSuODWLRn steadily in­creased, the death rate per 100,000 pop­u­la­tion has risen faster.

The in­crease in sui­cide is a ma­jor prob­lem in the mil­i­tary, youth RI APHULFD Dnd WKH el­derly.

7KH AUPy suL­cide rate in July was the high­est for one month with 38 deaths, a 22 per­cent in­crease. The men­tal health rates have risen 65 per­cent in the mil­i­tary since 2000 with 936,000 troops hav­ing at least one men­tal health prob­lem.

When ques­tioned by health pro­fes­sion­als, there was a de­sire to end in­tense emo­tional stress.

A sWudy RI sWudHnWs UHvHDOHd that 7.8 per­cent had at­tempted sui­cide one or more times dur­ing the 12 months be­fore the sur­vey and 15.8 per­cent of students had con­sid­ered at­tempt­ing sui­cide in the pre­vi­ous 12 months.

The thoughts, plan­ning and at­tempts at sui­cide were higher among young adults 18 to 29 years old than among adults aged 30 or older.

Sui­cide is the fourth lead­ing cause of death among those aged 5 to 14 years and is the third lead­ing cause of death among those 15 to 24 years old. Mean­while, the sui­cide rate for men rises with age. In men over age 65, the sui­cide rate is seven times that of fe­males over 65.

The sta­tis­tics on sui­cide are fright­en­ing and the in­crease of sui­cide is alarm­ing. We won­der what has hap­pened and what can be done.

For a coun­try, the United States ranked 38th in the world with 17.7 male deaths and 4.5 fe­male deaths per 100,000 pop­u­la­tion in 2011.

Lithua­nia with 61.3 male and 10.4 fe­male deaths in 2011 had the high­est in­ci­dence of sui­cide for a coun­try. The Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion had 53.9 male and 9.5 fe­male deaths by sui­cide in 2006.

In­ter­est­ingly, Egypt re­ported 0.1 male death and 0 fe­male deaths by sui­cide in 2009. World­wide, the male sui­cide rate is close to five times higher for males than fe­males.

It should be men­tioned that al­though the male sui­cide rate is high, women at­tempt sui­cide three times as of­ten as men.

Sui­ci­dal thoughts or ten­den­cies to act are an emer­gency. In most cases, the per­son is de­pressed and might have used al­co­hol or sub­stance abuse as “self treat­ment.”

To save a life re­quires im­me­di­ate help. The per­son may plan the use of a gun or have other thoughts on how to end life.

A SURIHssLRnDO, suFK Ds D psy­chi­a­trist or cri­sis cen­ter per­son­nel must be in­volved, im­me­di­ately. The sui­ci­dal pa­tient must not be left alone.

It 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 pro­fessLRnDO. CDOO 911. DRn’W UHOy on a pep talk.

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