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National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

writtenByWritten by: Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is a contributing health writer who has been researching and writing health content with PlushCare for 3 years. She is passionate about bringing accessible healthcare and mental health services to people everywhere.

Read more posts by this author.

September 14, 2020 Read Time - 6 minutes

September is National Suicide Awareness Month. Did you know that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States? In fact, there were more than a million (1.4 million) suicide attempts in 2018. But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Suicide Awareness Month is about spreading information to help battle depression and prevent suicide. If you or somebody you love is struggling, please read on for more information. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Number

If you are feeling suicidal, please reach out for help.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255.

You can also click here to chat online with a trained suicide prevention specialist. 

Upset Asian woman holding her head in hand in her hand.

What Is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month?

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is a time to share stories and resources to shed light on a stigmatized and highly taboo topic.

The goals are to connect people with suicidal ideation to treatment services, raise awareness, and reach out to anybody affected by suicide. 

Additionally, World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10, and Suicide Prevention Awareness Week is September 6-12. We encourage you to take the time to share information on your social media platforms about these events and information on suicide prevention. 


Related: Get Depression Treatment Online


Suicide and Depression Stats

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting around 17.3 million adults. That’s about 7.1% of all American adults.

Young adults (18-25) have even higher rates of depression than the general public, with around 13.2% reporting symptoms. Among adults with major depressive disorder, nearly two-thirds (63.8%) had severe impairment as a result. 


Read: Signs of Depression


Children and teenagers deal with depression at even higher rates than adults, with 13.3% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 reporting symptoms. That’s 3.2 million teenagers who are struggling and may be at risk of attempting suicide. 

Suicide is the 10th overall cause of death in the United States, but it’s the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the 4th leading cause of death for people 35-54.

In 2018, suicide claimed the lives of 48,344 Americans. That’s an average of 132 suicides per day. 

Men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women, and white males accounted for 69.67% of suicide deaths in 2018. Guns were responsible for more than half (50.57%) of all suicide deaths that year. 

Symptoms of Depression

Depression is more than just feeling sad. Symptoms of depression last nearly all day, every day for an extended period and may include:

  • Loss of pleasure or interest in normal activities, including hobbies, sex, or sports
  • Angry outbursts, frustration, or irritability, even over seemingly small things
  • Restlessness, anxiety, or agitation
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Feelings of hopelessness, tearfulness, sadness, or emptiness
  • Unexplained physical problems, like headaches or back pain
  • Lack of energy and tiredness; even small tasks seem to take too much energy
  • Eating more or less than usual and unintentionally gaining or losing weight
  • Slower speech, thinking, or movements
  • Trouble concentrating, making decisions, thinking, and remembering things
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness, fixating on self-blame or past failures
  • Recurrent or frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide

Read: Symptoms of Suicidal Depression and How to Spot Suicidal Behavior


How to Help Someone in Need

How can you tell if somebody is thinking about suicide? Here are some warning signs:

  • Talking about suicide or making statements like, “I wish I was never born”
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol
  • Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again
  • Giving away belongings without a rational explanation
  • Feeling hopeless or trapped
  • Wanting to be left alone and withdrawing from social contact
  • Being preoccupied with violence, death, or dying
  • Changing their normal routine
  • Risky or self-destructive behaviors
  • Getting the means to take their own life, like buying a gun or knife

How can you help? Start by asking questions, like:

  • Do you ever feel like just giving up?
  • Have you thought about when or how you might kill yourself?
  • Are you thinking about dying, suicide, or hurting yourself?
  • How are you coping with what’s been going on?
  • Do you have access to weapons or other ways to hurt yourself?

Related: Depression Quiz


Contrary to popular belief, talking about suicide won’t increase somebody’s risk of attempting it. In fact, it can start a conversation that may lead to them getting help, instead. 

Anytime somebody talks about hurting themselves, take them seriously. Don’t ignore the situation or play it off like a joke. 

If somebody you know is suicidal, the best thing you can do is encourage them to get help. There are so many resources available, from therapy to medication to crisis lines. Getting help can be difficult, so one thing you can do is find resources for your loved one, to save them a step and get them help faster. 

Get Depression Treatment Online

Luckily, getting treatment for depression is easier than ever, with many treatment options available online.

There are various online mental health services. Some of the most sought out are:


Read: What’s the Difference Between and Therapist and a Psychiatrist?


  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Can an Online Doctor Help With Depression?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, speaking with a primary care doctor, like the ones at PlushCare, is a great place to start.

Statistically speaking, the sooner you begin treatment the faster your recovery will be. This means if you feel a negative shift in your mental health, even if it’s not a huge change, don’t wait to seek treatment.

Not only can an online physician electronically send a prescription to your local pharmacy, but they can assess your mental health and recommend further treatment, setting you up on a the correct treatment path.

To talk to one of our trusted doctors about a comprehensive treatment plan, click here or call (888)798-0620 any time to schedule an appointment.  

Our doctors are highly trained to treat mental health conditions online and it’s one of the most common reasons patients come to us. You’re not alone.

Everything seems to be more difficult when you’re struggling with depression, at PlushCare we make it easier to access the help you need to feel better. Book today.


Read More About Mental Health Awareness


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

National Alliance on Mental Illness. Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Accessed on September 7, 2020 at https://www.nami.org/get-involved/awareness-events/suicide-prevention-awareness-month

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Suicide Statistics. Accessed on September 7, 2020 at https://afsp.org/suicide-statistics/

National Institute of Mental Health. Major Depression. Accessed on September 7, 2020 at https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.shtml

Mayo Clinic. Depression (Major Depressive Disorder). Accesed on September 7, 2020 at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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