Suicide in America
I started writing another blog earlier this morning, however as life often does, things can take a sharp turn. While what I intended on writing about was more upbeat, I am compelled to write about suicide instead. I feel, unless you know someone whose committed suicide, you can never truly understand how someone could take their own life. I’ve known three people who were successful in committing suicide and countless others who’ve tried. Honestly, even knowing these individuals and their circumstances, I don’t fully understand. Being part of the Ft. Hood community, and the bigger Army family there is no shortage of these situations. Like I said, sometimes life takes you in a path you didn’t think you would take for a while.
Out of respect for those involved I will give no details into the situation at this time. What I do want to say is that we are living in very hard times. We are living in a time when what we thought we knew as truth is crumbling around us. With each turn we see more and more ways our freedom and happiness is stripped away. How many jobs can be lost before people are distraught? How much can one country sustain? I know from my husband that no matter how you train as a soldier, you simply cannot take the humanity out of a person. There is no way to rest with what you’ve done overseas. These individuals return home with no support. This is but one example of hardship, albeit the one I’m most familiar with.
We don’t know what others are going through, but what we can do is lend a helping hand. I pulled up the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/ ) because I wanted to see what the statistics had to say about this growing problem. According to the site suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. For every suicide there are 25 more attempts. The most staggering though: there are 121 suicides per day in America.
According to the New York Times suicide is at a 30-year high. Every age group, and every ethnicity has seen an incline. More astounding is the fact that suicide in young girls 10-14 has tripled. In 1999 50 young girls committed suicide. In 2014 that number hit 150. The link, https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide-datasheet-a.pdf, gives you statistical information regarding suicide.
If you or someone you may know feels suicidal the above website has live chat, Spanish speaking and deaf or hearing impaired. It’s never too late to seek or provide help. Even one more life lost is too many.
As I sat down to finally finish this post, I thought, I’ll scroll through FB one more time. Low and behold, right in my face was a post by an NHL team, the Vancouver, Canucks. One of their players Ryan Rypien committed suicide. Fame and fortune doesn’t solve anything. Only the support of others can improve our lives. If you don’t need someone, be someone.