Letter to the Editor: Help bring suicide out of the shadows

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Nearly 46,000 people in the United States die by suicide each year. That’s one death every 11 minutes. Yet suicide is a topic that hides in the shadows. 

All too often suicide goes unaddressed even when we may sense someone is struggling. We may worry that saying the wrong thing will make it worse, so we end up saying nothing — even though a few kind words can make the difference in connecting someone to help or supporting someone who experienced a suicide loss. It’s time we shed a light on this leading cause of death and bring suicide out of the shadows. 

Our lives today can feel overwhelming and leave us feeling isolated and alone. You can save a life by talking with someone you care about. You don’t have to be a mental health professional to make a difference. There are simple things you can do, from learning the warning signs for suicide to knowing what to do if you are worried someone is struggling. Assure them there’s nothing wrong with getting help. By doing so, they’ve taken the first step to feeling better. 

National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 10-16. Blessing Hospital and the Adams County Suicide Prevention Coalition invite you to take this opportunity to bring attention to one of the most important issues in our community. 

People who are suicidal can and do recover. Learn about the warning signs and what to do on the Adams County Suicide Prevention Alliance web page, acsuicideprevention.org. Talking is the first step to show you care. Life is precious, and taking a minute to reach out can save a life.

Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it’s just a phone call away at the new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or by chatting at 988lifeline.org.

Chuck Johnson
Blessing Behavioral Center

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