Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition.
In 2016 alone, nearly 45,000 individuals died by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss.
Suicide Risk Factors
Risk factors for suicide include:
- Family history of suicide, trauma or child maltreatment
- Previous suicide attempt(s)
- History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression
- History of alcohol and substance abuse
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
- Cultural and religious beliefs (e.g., belief that suicide is noble resolution of a personal dilemma)
- Local epidemics of suicide
- Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people
- Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
- Recent tragedy or loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
- Physical illness; agitation and sleep deprivation
- Easy access to lethal methods
- Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health
- Age (people under 24 or above age 65 are at higher risk).
Seek Help & Prevent Suicide
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately, or call the NC NAMI hotline: 1-800-451-9682, or text NAMI to 741-741.