By UB’s Cortney Blitz, Clinical Intern
National Suicide Prevention Week is the Monday, September 7th through Sunday, September 12th surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day, Thursday September 10th.
As someone who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community, this initiative hits close to home due to the prevalence of suicide within the community. I’m thankful for organizations like The Trevor Project whose mission is focused on providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24 and LGB youth are four times more likely, and questioning youth are three times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers. Within the transgender community, nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives and one-quarter have made a suicide attempt.
The good news is, there are typically warning signs and ways to help:
Have you or someone you know felt…?
Unimportant, Trapped, Hopeless, Overwhelmed, Unmotivated, Alone, Irritable, Impulsive, or Suicidal.
Have you or someone you’ve known recently…?
Moved, just went through a break-up, lost a loved-one, just started college, lost your job, or are experiencing tough financial times or a major life change.
Do you or someone you know…?
- Not care about their future: “Soon it won’t matter.”
- Put themselves down: “I suck. I don’t deserve to live.”
- Express hopelessness: “Things are never going to get better.”
- Say goodbye to important people: “I’ll miss you. You were a great friend.”
- Have a specific plan for suicide: “I’ve thought about how I’d do it.”
- Talk about feeling suicidal: “Life is so hard. Lately I’ve felt like ending it all”
Have you or someone you know been…?
- Using drugs
- Acting differently than usual
- Giving away their most valuable possessions
- Losing interest in their favorite things to do
- Admiring people who have died by suicide
- Planning for death by writing a will or letter
- Eating or sleeping more or less than usual
- Feeling more sick, tired or achy than usual
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Please reach out to the 24/7 Trevor Lifeline (866-488-7386) to talk to a trained volunteer counselor.
We all share the responsibility of becoming more aware of these signs and resources so we are willing and able to help each other, especially for those who are unable to help themselves.