Suicide is a topic that is becoming more prevalent in the media and while it’s a difficult issue to discuss, avoiding the stigma to increase awareness is one of the most effective ways to prevent suicide. Every year, over 44,000 Americans die by suicide and it is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. Even more alarming, for every suicide there are 25 attempts. Suicide rates are highest for people between 45 and 64 years of age, surprised? There are many warning signs that someone may be suicidal including negative talk about feeling trapped, being a burden to others, or having no reason to live, behavioral changes such as increased alcohol/drug use, reckless behavior, or isolating oneself, and mood changes displaying depression, loss of interest, or rage. Studies show that people with certain risk factors have a greater chance of being suicidal. Factors like mental health conditions, substance abuse issues, chronic health conditions, stressful life events (divorce, job loss), prolonged stress (harassment, relationship problems), or a family history of suicide attempts.

What can you do to help someone you believe may be suicidal? Many people avoid “prying” or think discussing concerns about suicidal tendencies may increase the suicidal feelings, but research shows that acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce the risk. Letting a person with suicidal thoughts know that you are there to listen and support them without judgment and helping them to get connected with resources in suicide prevention can reduce their feelings of hopelessness, isolation, and depression. Go to or for more information on suicide prevention. And, see the links below for local resources if you or someone you know needs help.