· A suicide attempt is made about once every 40 seconds [1], and a suicide is completed once every 15 minutes [2]. That breaks down to about 2,160 attempts, 96 completions, and 23 attempts per completion in a single day. · Each suicide intimately affects at least 6 people [3]. · Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in 2011 [4]. · The rate of suicide has been steadily increasing since 2000 [2], and is at its highest rate since 1991 [5]. · Suicide is the third leading cause of death in the 15-24 age range; the second in the 25-34 range; the fourth in the 35-54 range; and the eighth in the 55-64 range [6]. · Suicide rates are highest for females aged 45-54 and males aged 75 and older [6]. · Men are 4 times more likely to die by suicide than women, but women attempt suicide 3 times more often than men [2]. · Native Americans are most likely to die by suicide, followed by Caucasians [2]. · 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death, most commonly depression (or bipolar disorder), alcoholism, or both [2]. · More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease (7 million), cancer (6 million) and AIDS (200,000) combined [7]. Source: http://livethroughthis.org/resources/

Losing a loved one from suicide is unbearable. Unthinkable. Devastating. When there’s complexities to this (and there probably are) - whether from anger, confusion, frustration, sadness, and problems adjusting afterwards, I understand. We can do more as a community to fight against this. I saw a cool project of people speaking out of the elephant in the room - there’s so much shame when someone has attempted and fear of hospitalization that people don’t speak up. Education alone doesn’t do it - but connection with another human being can.

Check out the empowering site I’m referring to called: Live Through This

For those who have had a loved one die by suicide - it’s important to talk. Not tomorrow, next week, or year. Now. People can’t fix it, take it away, but they can bear witness to your pain and carry some of it with you. Nobody should have to bear this burden alone and it is not shameful to admit you need to talk. Talking about the loss over and over helps expose you to the pain so that you can get through it. Your story makes a difference and the meaning of the loss will change over time, only if you talk it through (over and over and over….)

This day is important to me. It represents people can get better and face hard things.

Jill Lehmann-Bauer, MSW