Posted on : 11 Sep 2019 | No Comments
September is Suicide Prevention Month. The rate of suicide has increased dramatically across most segments of our population in recent years. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there were more than twice as many suicides in the USA in 2017 as there were homicides.¹ PeakBrain is actively engaged in improving brain health and mental health across a wide range of demographics, including children, adolescents, older adults and even with specialized groups such as military veterans. We are committed to spreading awareness of this distressing issue.
Suicides affect many segments of the population, and various factors contribute to this epidemic. Adolescent suicide has skyrocketed in this age of new technologies, and the increasing pressure to find one’s place in society is certainly a factor. Chronic illnesses, both mental and physical, increase suicidal ideation in those who have suffered for years, Military veterans are more likely than the civilian population to develop mental health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and traumatic brain injury. Veterans are also at high risk for developing associated substance-use disorders – all factors associated with suicide.
Everyone can play a role in suicide prevention. Major mental illnesses rarely originate “out of the blue,” and oftentimes family, friends, teachers and/or the individuals themselves can learn to recognize small changes before the point of no return. Symptoms listed here, including withdrawal, apathy, social isolation, unusual behaviors, and mood changes, are early warning signs that can be brought to a mental health professional’s attention. Suicides are preventable, and the stigma surrounding mental health problems can and should be addressed in our society.
Thankfully, there are abundant resources available to all, and an extensive list of organizations who are committed to providing aid to those with suicidal ideation or who have suffered from the effects of suicide amongst loved ones. In North Texas, The Grant Halliburton Foundation is dedicated to adolescent mental health and suicide prevention. Project Semicolon advocates for mental health wellness and awareness, particularly in its anti-suicide initiatives. Mental Health America has an extensive list of resources at its website linked here.
PeakBrain’s professionals are active in ongoing work with schools, school districts, institutions, parent groups, and support organizations to bring more awareness of mental health needs, as well as resources to support individuals at all walks of life. For instance, our pro-bono work for military veterans to assist with the aftermath of PTSD has brought significant relief to many veterans in our community. Students represent the largest percentage of clients, and our counselors, coaches and clinicians have substantial experience with identifying and addressing the stresses and issues that contribute to poor mental health.
Most important, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available around the clock at 1-800-273-8255. If you or someone you know if contemplating suicide, you are not alone. Please call an emergency hotline immediately. You can get help.
¹ “Suicide.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml.
You can also reach a PeakBrain representative by calling 972.449.0441.