Kate Spade and Anthony Bordain died by suicide last week. There were others as well: our neighbors, our friends, our community members. The growing numbers speak for themselves—we have a problem that together we can address and it needs to be today.
According to MentalHealth.Gov, approximately 122 Americans die by suicide each day. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds and more than 9.4 million adults in the United States had serious thoughts of suicide within the past 12 months. Suicide is preventable, and we all play a role.
Warning Signs: Here’s what to look for
According to Michael Tozzoli, MSW, LCSW, Chief Executive Officer at West Bergen Mental Healthcare, critical components to suicide prevention include recognizing the warning signs of being suicidal, being able to open a conversation about it and most importantly, knowing where to go for help.
Suicide warning signs might include:
- A history of depression or significant challenges.
- Any significant change in normal routine, like missing work or school.
- Major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns.
- Withdrawing from family and friends.
- Decreased interest in activities, or inability to enjoy previously favored activities.
- Talking about wanting to die. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention reports that 50%-75% of people who attempt suicide tell someone about it first.
Are you or someone you know in crisis?
If you have a concern or know someone who is thinking about suicide, it’s important to seek professional help.
Suicide is a difficult topic and we realize it can be hard to talk about. Talking about mental health–and bringing it into the light–DOES help and we encourage you to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Join the conversation: it can make a difference. www.westbergen.org 201-485-7172.
Bergen County Residents Call 201-262-HELP (4357)
NJHopeline – 855-654-6735