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September 5, 2022

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

As a reputable addiction treatment center, we work with a lot of addiction sufferers who are also dealing with significant mental health, behavioral health, and or psychological issues.

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September 5, 2022

Many times, the combination of "co-occurring" disorders can drive someone to the brink of suicide. In a world where tragedies are abundant, no tragedy rivals the tragedy of someone taking their own life out of a sense of desperation.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It's not possible to underestimate the importance of making sure that communities throughout America are doing all they can to keep even one more suicide tragedy from happening. Let's take a look at the history of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and what's it all about.

The History of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

The tragedy of a person taking their own life has existed for as long as humans have been walking the planet. From government leaders to hardworking loved ones who succumb to life's stress, no one is immune to feelings of helplessness. That could never be made clearer than the fact entertainers like Marilyn Monroe and Robin Williams took their lives in spite of the notion they seemingly had it all.

Starting in 1951, suicide awareness began picking up momentum as nation after nation began developing resources people could use when suicide ideologies would come calling. It started in the UK and by 1958 made its way to the U.S. It wasn't enough, something more needed to be done at the national level.

In 2008, the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) came to the forefront and introduced National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month to raise awareness for the masses. Since the founding of this initiative, more and more mental healthcare providers, Hollywood Hills Recovery included, have shown great support for this effort.

Why Suicide Prevention Matters

If an entire month has been designated as a suicide prevention initiative, there must be information that makes clear there is a significant problem. Well, data collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2020 tells the tale.

According to the CDC, almost 46,000 Americans took their own lives. That's 1 death every 11 minutes. Even more distressing was the fact that 12.2 million Americans reported having had suicidal ideologies and of that number, 1.2 million people actually performed suicide attempts. BTW: 80% of all suicide victims in the U.S. were male. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst adolescent teenagers in the United States

These numbers make it very clear that suicide has become a significant problem in the U.S with some arguing it being a public health and mental health crisis. Facing this kind of problem, one can only be grateful that September has been designated as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

How People Can Get Involved in Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month will only make a difference if Americans get involved at all levels. That includes the involvement of both the mental healthcare community and the everyday Americans who can make a difference in their local communities.

If you are wondering how you can get involved and show your support for this initiative, here are some suicide prevention resources.

Educate Yourself About Suicide

Education is necessary to recognize and solve problems. If you really want to become a cog in the battle against suicide, you should educate yourself on risk factors, suicide rates, and emotional health support groups. You can do that with resources that are available through the NAMI website. You might even want to consider buying NAMI’s First Book: “You Are Not Alone”.

Help the Community Develop Mental Healthcare Resources

The best way to prevent suicides is to make sure people have easy access to mental healthcare resources for treatment. You can get involved in your local community to help develop treatment resources and programs that help at-risk people get connected to people within the community.

Recognize the Warning Signs of Suicide

As you travel throughout your busy day, keep your head on a swivel. You never know when you might come upon a friend, family member, or acquaintance who might be in turmoil and on the verge of suicide. How might you know? Here are some of the signs that suicidal thoughts could be lurking:

  • Discussing thoughts of suicide
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Loss of appetite
  • Withdrawing from family and society as a whole
  • Giving away of personal assets
  • Sudden interest in creating a will

Hollywood Hills Recovery has been treating addiction sufferers and have been caregivers that save lives in Southern California for years. It's safe to say we have encountered more than our fair share of clients who have been on the verge of suicide. We fully support Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and hope you will join us. If you would like to discuss our treatment programs, please contact one of our administrators as soon as possible.

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