September is National Suicide Prevention Month! This is a time where mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness.

One of the hardest things for those who’ve lost a loved one by suicide to understand is why the victim chose to take his or her life and what made them think that life was unbearable.

The fact of the matter is that suicide has many risk factors, including the following:

Mental disorders

Hopelessness

History of trauma or abuse

Family history of suicide

Local clusters of suicide

The latter is probably one of the most surprising, as it indicates that suicide in a particular geographic area could be a “trend.”

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, there are more suicides than murders in Alabama each year and in 2018 alone, 116 people ages 10-24 died by suicide in Alabama.

As isolation is one of the known factors to contribute to one’s desire to take his own life, it is of the utmost importance that we check on our loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone who is taking the virus seriously faces some amount of isolation as social distancing prevents many from gathering and interacting with others.

Those who’ve suffered from depression and feelings of inadequacy before could easily find themselves in a downward spiral, but those close to such individuals should keep a steady watch on them, even if it means checking on them several times per week simply to let them know someone cares.

Your expression of love could be the difference between life and death.

If you’re a parent whose child is having difficulty adjusting to a new norm of virtual learning or you’ve noticed mood changes, learn more about youth suicide, signs, and ways to prevent it. Click here for more information.

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