Michigan Suicide Prevention Walk: October 13th 2013

In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes, claiming more than 38,000 lives each year. It is estimated that an attempt is made every minute, with close to one million people attempting suicide annually. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. among adults 18-65, the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults, and individuals ages 65 and older account for 16 percent of all suicide deaths. This is a public health issue that does not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status.

Team LOve (L.O.ve) supported by Great Lakes Psychology Group and representing the community of Lake Orion, Michigan will be walking in the Out of the Darkness Community walk benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) this October 13th 2013 in Michigan. Recently, our community has lost many young people to suicide. Such loss leaves us feeling helpless and scared. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is at the forefront of research, education and prevention initiatives designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. Our team is passionate about preventing future suicides not only in our community but globally. This walk is also an opportunity for us to remember our friends who we have lost. We are hoping that our participation in this event will help teach us more about how to help others who might be having suicidal thoughts so that we can be advocates in our community. We have also set goals to raise money for this important Foundation that is working hard toward reducing the loss of life from suicide – a cause that is very close to our hearts.

Suicide is a national health problem that takes an enormous toll on family, friends, co-workers, and the entire community. AFSP provides opportunities for survivors of suicide loss to get involved through a wide variety of educational, outreach, awareness, advocacy and fundraising programs.

Some figures taken from the AFSP website:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data about mortality in the U.S., including deaths by suicide. In 2010 (the most recent year for which data are available), 38,364 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.In that year, someone in the country died by suicide every 13.7 minutes.
  • In 2010, the highest suicide rate (18.6) was among people 45 to 64 years old. The second highest rate (17.6) occurred in those 85 years and older. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2010, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 10.5
  • For many years, the suicide rate has been about 4 times higher among men than among women. In 2010, men had a suicide rate of 19.9, and women had a rate of 5.2. Of those who died by suicide in 2010, 78.9% were male and 21.1% were female.
  • In 2010, the most recent year for which data is available, 464,995 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm behavior, suggesting that approximately 12 people harm themselves (not necessarily intending to take their lives) for every reported death by suicide. Together, those harming themselves made an estimated total of more than 650,000 hospital visits related to injuries sustained in one or more separate incidents of self-harm behavior.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or have exhibited symptoms of suicidal tendencies, do not leave the person alone and do not isolate yourself. Call your doctor, 911, go to a hospital emergency room for immediate help, or ask someone to help you. The phone number for Common Ground’s 24-hour Crisis and Resource Helpline is 800-231-1127 and is available 24 hours a day. For more information, go to Oakland County Health Division online at oakgov.com/health and click on “Youth Suicide Prevention”, or view a larger list of suicide prevention resources in Michigan at suicide.org.

As always, we’re also here to help- if you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms or risks factors listed above, contact Great Lakes Psychology Group today.  We hope you’ll also consider supporting our participation in this event through a financial donation or by walking in the event yourself -any contribution will help the work of AFSP, and all donations are 100% tax deductible.