It’s a tragic but very real statistic: suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people (ages 10–44) in Idaho. The stresses of the past year and a half have pushed Idaho’s suicide rates to record levels. But knowledge is power, right? The more we know about preventing suicide, the bigger impact we can make in changing those sobering statistics.
Here are the top 10 things research has shown us about suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
- Suicide is related to brain functions that affect decision-making and behavioral control, making it difficult for people to find positive solutions.
- Limiting a person’s access to methods of killing themselves dramatically decreases suicide rates in communities.
- 90 percent of people who die by suicide have an underlying — and potentially treatable — mental health condition.
- Depression, bipolar disorder, and substance use are strongly linked to suicidal thinking and behavior.
- Specific treatments used by mental health professionals, such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy-SP and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, have been proven to help people manage their suicidal ideation and behavior.
- No one takes their life for a single reason. Life stresses combined with known risk factors such as childhood trauma, substance use, or even chronic physical pain can contribute to someone taking their life.
- Asking someone directly if they’re thinking about suicide won’t “put the idea in their head”. Most will be relieved someone starts a conversation.
- Certain medications used to treat depression or stabilize mood have been proven to help people reduce suicidal thoughts and behavior.
- If someone can get through the intense, and short, moment of active suicidal crisis, chances are they will not die by suicide.
- Most people who survive a suicide attempt (85 to 95 percent) go on to engage in life.