ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — September 4th marks the first day of Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. According to the CDC, suicide was the 12th leading cause of death in the United States in 2020.
This week exists to shine a light on the ways people can help someone they know who may be struggling, and how to have authentic, caring conversations about suicide and mental health.
Higher rates of suicide are being reported in younger groups, particularly teens, and LGBTQ+ youth. Middle aged men and veterans are also considered higher risk.
There isn’t just one sign or symptom too indicate someone is at risk, but there are some signs to look out for, such as a person talking about ending their life, feeling hopeless, and using more drugs or alcohol.
Experts say if you think a family member or friend is considering suicide, asking about it is not going to make it worse. It can have the opposite effect. So offer support and let them know you care. Suicidal thoughts can be treated and can improve over time.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, although the previous 1-800-273-TALK number will continue to function indefinitely. 988 became the new dialing code back in July. Veterans can press 1 after dialing 988 for the Veterans Crisis Line. There are also multiple lifelines for specific groups, like LGBTQ+ youth. More information can be found on the website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
NEWS10 ABC’s Giuliana Bruno sat down with Dr. Sreela Roy, Clinical Manager with Aptihealth. She’s a mental health counselor who has worked in behavior health and addictions in the Capital Region for 17 years. Dr. Roy provided valuable insight into suicide prevention. You can watch their discussion in the player above.