Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Erasing the stigma - a must!

In gathering information for an addendum to my book I turned to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. According to AFSP records for the year 2007 (the latest information available):

·     "There were 34,598 reported suicide deaths with suicide the fourth leading cause of death for adults   between the ages of 18 and 65 years in the United States (28,628 suicides).
·    Currently, suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death in the United States.
·     A person dies by suicide about every fifteen minutes in the United States.
·     Every day, approximately ninety Americans take their own life.
·     Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
·     There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but three times as many females as males attempt suicide.
·    There are an estimated eight to twenty-five attempted suicides for every suicide death."

There are also alarming statistics regarding the rise of suicide rates in the armed forces. In 2009 there were 334 suicide deaths and twenty to thirty percent of veterans suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. Finally the military is looking at ways to erase the stigma of mental disease and suicide so that our service people needing help won't hesitate to go ask for it.


Lucky Press, LLC said...

Thank you for this, Madeline. Our society needs to open the door and let in the light on this topic.

Also, there is no shame in having a loved one with mental illness, nor in having mental illness oneself. Perhaps one day soon we will, as laypeople, understand more and have more compassion, for brain and psychological disorders. That's my hope, anyway.

February Grace said...

Your poem about the stone and these posts truly touched my heart-and as someone who lives on the 'other side' of this issue (and I must say, what you said about it being impossible to explain 'from the inside looking out' is so true for those of us struggling, as well...) I do so appreciate you shining a brighter light on it.

I wrote something about just that awhile ago- I would have emailed you this link instead of posting it here in comments, but I couldn't find an address, and I wanted to give something back to you to thank you for reminding me that despite my struggles, I need to fight to remember that I am always not only a woman but a mother, and someone's daughter.

Some days, as my best friend puts it, it is a 'fight just to fight'. Your work and writing are not only vital and I am sure will help so many who have lost, but also will help those of us living every day just fighting to fight.

Thank you.

~February Grace