It’s important to talk about suicide

Why does a person choose to take their own life? Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. What we do know is this. A majority of people who commit suicide have a behavioral health issue or a substance use problem.

Every 12 minutes, someone in the United States dies by suicide. Together, we can prevent untimely deaths. And that starts with better awareness and understanding.

Every 12 minutes someone dies by suicide in the US icon

Every 12 minutes, someone in the United States dies by suicide.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018 Fatal Injury Reports

Know the facts

Suicide doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care about your age, gender, race, economic status, or sexual orientation. It can affect anyone.

10th

Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death.

48,344

Americans died by suicide.

132

On average, 132 Americans died every day.

1.4

million Americans attempted suicide.

2nd

leading cause of death for ages 10-34

4th

leading cause of death for ages 35-54

90%

of those who died by suicide had a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of death.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018 Fatal Injury Reports

Quiz: Suicide Awareness

Choose if the following statement is true or false:

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Talking openly about suicide is dangerous. It often plants the idea in a person’s head.

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Suicide usually occurs out of the blue – without any warning.

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Self-poisoning is the most common method of suicide.

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Suicide runs in families. It’s a hereditary condition that can’t be prevented.

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If a suicidal person feels better that means that the problem has passed.

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Females die by suicide more frequently than males.

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Young men are at the highest risk of killing themselves.

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Once someone is suicidal, he or she will always remain suicidal.

Thanks for taking a few moments to learn about the myths and realities of suicide. Your awareness can help save a life. And don’t forget, you can always turn to a Mindful Advocate for guidance and support in a moment of crisis.

FALSE: Discussing suicide openly is one of the most helpful things you can do. It shows you are taking the person seriously and that you care.

FALSE: 80% of people who die by suicide give some warning. That’s why it’s so important to recognize the warning signs.

FALSE: Firearms are the most commonly used method of completing suicide, accounting for more than 50% of all suicides.

FALSE: Suicide is not hereditary. It’s important to note, though, that survivors of suicide loss are at greater risk of dying by suicide themselves.

FALSE: If someone who has been depressed or suicidal suddenly seems happier, don't assume that the danger has passed. Making a decision to end one’s life often improves the person’s mental attitude and increases his/her energy to carry out the suicide plan.

FALSE: Three times as many males die by suicide while four times as many females attempt suicide.

FALSE: Males between the ages of 18 and 24 are in the group with the highest growth rate of suicide, but older men are actually at the highest risk of killing themselves.

FALSE: Heightened suicide risk is often short-term and situation-specific. While suicidal thoughts may return, they aren’t permanent and a person with previously suicidal thoughts can go on to live a long life.

Source: suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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A Mindful Advocate

It all starts here. 833-302-MIND (6463) Blue KC members can call a Mindful Advocate 24/7 for immediate care in a time of crisis. These licensed behavioral health clinicians offer support in other ways, too. They’re here to listen, help you navigate your health benefits, and connect you to the appropriate care. To learn more about Mindful by Blue KC visit MindfulBlueKC.com.

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Important Crisis Phone Numbers

All Emergency Situations

911 If you or someone you know is in an emergency, always call 911. If someone is in imminent danger, never leave them alone.

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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255) A lifeline in every sense of the word, this national network of local crisis centers provides 24/7 free and confidential support if you're in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Resources

Hear from Experts

Opioid Overdose: A Death of DespairBecky Gernon, MD, Medical Director, Blue KC

What to Know About Suicide PreventionEmily Snow, LMSW, MHSA, Director of Behavioral Health Initiatives, Blue KC

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