Always remember that there are phone numbers that you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any location in the United States:
1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255
1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433
September is Suicide Prevention Month
According to the most recent published statistics from the CDC (2019), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2019, 47,511 Americans died by suicide and there were an estimated 1.38 million suicide attempts. 12 million Americans have serious thoughts of suicide and 54% of us have been affected by suicide in some way. COVID has not improved the situation and preliminary data suggest that the suicide rates in the U.S. have increased in the past couple of years.
One of the big issues is access to care. Roughly 90% of people who died by suicide had a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their death. Unfortunately, 43.8% of adults with a diagnosed mental health condition did not receive mental health services in the past year. This is likely due to the fact that nearly three quarters (73.1%) of the U.S. did not have sufficient numbers of mental health providers available to meet the needs of residents in 2020.
While many of us wish for a crystal ball that would tell us with some certainty the likelihood that a person will or will not attempt to harm themselves, such a tool is not yet available. There are, however, some behaviors that are associated with an increased likelihood of self-harm.
Behaviors that may indicate a person is at immediate risk for suicide:
- Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself.
- Actively seeking ways to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
- Talking about feeling hopeless and having no reason to live.
Behaviors that may indicate a person is at serious risk for suicide (especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or is related to a painful event, change, or loss):
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Increasing use of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Agitated or reckless behavior.
- Sleeping more or less than usual.
- Social withdrawal or isolation.
- Displaying rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Extreme mood swings.
If you or someone you care about is experiencing suicidal thoughts, there are resources available in our community to help. Please consider reaching out to ASAP (916-734-2727) to speak with a counselor. In an emergency, please go to your nearest emergency room or call 911. Additional crisis resources are listed below.
National Suicide Prevention Life-Line (24/7)
Sacramento 24-Hour Mental Health Crisis Line
Crisis "Text" Line
Text: HOME to 741741
Remember that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It can get better and we are here to help you.
Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) offers confidential, cost-free assessment, counseling, consultation and referral services to all UC Davis Health System faculty, staff, and their family members. Whether the problem is work-related, personal, career or relationship focused, ASAP can assist you in evaluating and resolving the problem.
You can call ASAP at 916-734-2727 for an appointment.