Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. There is still a stigma about suicide that days like today aim to end. This is important, because stigma keeps people in cycles of shame and can prevent them from seeking help for suicidal thoughts.
According to the CDC, in 2019, suicide was the second-leading cause of death for people aged 10-34 and the fourth-leading cause of death for those 35-44. Mental health disorders, addiction, and suicidal ideation are all linked. About 90% of people who complete suicide meet diagnostic criteria for a mental health disorder. Those who are dependent on alcohol or use drugs are 10-14 times more likely to die by suicide, respectively.
Addiction, Mental Health Disorders, and Stigma
When someone is in intense emotional pain, they may use drugs or alcohol to try to escape. Then when people misuse substances, it “may impair judgment, weaken impulse control, and interrupt neurotransmitter pathways, leading to suicidal tendencies through disinhibition,” according to an article in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Suicide prevention means advocating for better and more accessible mental health care, raising awareness, and ending stigma. Stigma not only makes it more difficult for people to get help—it places a burden on those who are mourning someone who died by suicide.
Prevention provides hope, because, as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline says, “Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can prevent suicides and save lives.”
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or need to talk to someone, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255. Trans lifeline is at 877-565-8860. If it’s an emergency, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you find the recovery plan that works best for you. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.