Every minute of the day a suicide is attempted. Nearly 30,000 Americans lose their life to suicide each year.
Simply put, suicide is a serious—and often overlooked—public health concern.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24, and the 10th leading cause of death in the US overall. In 2010, more people in the United States died from suicide than car accidents. From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans 35 to 64 increased nearly 30 percent. The largest increases were among men in their 50s, a rising rate at nearly 50 percent. For women ages 60 to 64, rates rose 60 percent.
September is National Suicide Awareness Month, and mental health professionals at Archbold Memorial Hospital’s Northside Center for Behavioral and Psychiatric Care say that knowing the warnings signs and risk factors are key to suicide prevention.
In an effort to raise awareness about suicide, Archbold Northside will hold the sixth annual Ride for Awareness, a poker run and bike show on Saturday September 26, 2015. The Ride for Awareness educates participants on recognizing early warning signs of suicide and raises money for the Archbold Northside activities department, a department that helps teach patients appropriate activities that enhance social and recreational skills, which serve as an essential part of a patient’s recovery process.
“Suicide’s causes are complex and determined by multiple factors,” said Jim Terry, Archbold Northside administrator. “But it’s important to know that suicide affects all ages, cultures, socio-economic and religious groups.”
“Some common mental health illnesses may be linked to suicide, like severe stress, chronic medical conditions, grieving from the loss of a loved one and substance abuse,” said Archbold psychiatrist Eugene Sun, MD. “And though all suicides aren’t predictable or preventable, quick response and appropriate treatment may be pivotal in preventing a final act performed out of desperation.”
Statistics show that 80 percent of people who commit suicide have never had professional help. But the most important thing you can do as a family member or friend is to identify risk factors and recognize warning signs early.
“Delaying treatment could result in worsening of symptoms, so it’s important to be attentive to warning signs,” said Dr. Sun. “Above all else, get your loved one the help they need to prevent a fatal outcome.”
Bike Show registration will begin at 8am and Poker Run registration will begin at 8:30am, both at Archbold Northside on Old Albany Road. Following the poker run, the community is invited to gather with Ride participants for a 50/50 raffle and door prizes, also at Archbold Northside. As a way to honor and the lives of loved ones lost to suicide, the Archbold Northside Suicide Memory Wall will also be available at the event.
For more information on the Poker Run and Bike Show, or to learn more about preventing suicide, call Archbold Northside at 228-8131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.