As we ready ourselves to greet September in a matter of hours, let us start the month by spreading awareness and promoting suicide prevention.
Sadly most lives have been touched by suicide. Whether it was the loss of someone close to you, or a friend of a friend. We ask ourselves if we missed the signs, but there are often no signs at all.
Among U.S. adults, the number of suicides increased from 29,580 in 2001 to 45,861 in 2019. Veterans accounted for 5,989 suicides in 2011 (20.2%) and 6,261 suicides in 2019 (13.7%). Veterans accounted for 38.6% suicide deaths in 2019, the largest population subgroup.*
Suicide rates dropped by 3% between 2019 and 2020 and suicides overall decreased at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, first responders showed moderate to no decrease from 2017 to 2020 and a recent study found more police officers died by suicide in 2020 than in the line of duty, and suicides among firefighters and EMTs increased between 2017 and 2020.**
If you or a first responder or veteran you know is struggling, there is help. Please share this message with the links to where they can get support and assistance. We never have to walk alone.