September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month with September 10 being World Suicide Prevention Day. It is with this purpose that the following is shared to further awareness and continue with the prevention efforts.
“To anyone who has had suicidal thoughts this past year, I am glad you are here. Keep holding on” - unknown.
According to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States
Each year 44,965 Americans die by suicide
For every suicide, 25 attempts
Men die by suicide 3.53x more often than women.
On average, there are 123 suicides per day.
The rate of suicide is the highest in middle age.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides the following statistics specific to age, race, ethnicity and suicide methods.
Suicides by Age
In 2016, the highest suicide rate (19.72) was among adults between 45 and 54 years of age. The second highest rate (18.98) occurred in those 85 years or older. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2016, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 13.15.
Suicide Rates by Race/Ethnicity
In 2016, the highest U.S. suicide rate (15.17) was among Whites and the second highest rate (13.37) was among American Indians and Alaska Natives (Figure 5). Much lower and roughly similar rates were found among Asians and Pacific Islanders (6.62), and Black or African Americans (6.03). White males accounted for 7 of 10 suicides in 2016.
In 2016, firearms were the most common method of death by suicide, accounting for a little more than half (51.01%) of all suicide deaths. The next most common methods were suffocation (including hangings) at 25.89% and poisoning at 14.90%.
What leads an individual to ultimately make the decision to commit suicide can be summarized as being the loss of hope. The therapists’ main goal is to instill hope in our clients. We do this in various forms based on chosen theoretical frameworks. The altruistic uniting factor that we share for our clients is the simple act of being a non- judgmental presence. Present to journey along and guide clients throughout the other side of the despair that is depression.
“Despair is the price one pays for self-awareness. Look deeply into life, and you’ll always find despair”- Irving D. Yalom.
According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.3. MDD affects more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7%of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5 years old. It is more prevalent in women than in men. Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) affects approximately 1.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year (about 3.3 million American adults). Only 61.7% of adults with MDD are receiving treatment. The average age of onset is 31 years old.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) list the following as risk factors and protective factors for suicide. They clarify that there is a “combination of individual, relationship, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of suicide. Risk factors are those characteristics associated with suicide—they might not be direct causes”.
Family history of suicide
Family history of 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 personal dilemma)
Local epidemics of suicide
Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people
Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
Easy access to lethal methods
Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or to suicidal thoughts.
Protective Factors for Suicide
Protective factors buffer individuals from suicidal thoughts and behavior. To date, protective factors have not been studied as extensively or rigorously as risk factors. Identifying and understanding protective factors are, however, equally as important as researching risk factors.
Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
Family and community support (connectedness)
Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self preservation (U.S. Public Health Service 1999)
“Sometime even to live is an act of courage” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Resources Local to Murrieta and Surrounding Areas
If you or someone you love are having a psychiatric emergency call 911.
24/7 Mental Health Urgent Care
24 hour/7 days/365 urgent care mental health screening and assessment services and medications.
Riverside: 9990 County Farm Rd. Riverside, CA 92503 (951) 509-2499
Perris: 85 Ramona Expressway, Suites 1-3 Perris, CA 92571 951-349-4195 Main
HELPLine - 24 Hour Crisis/Suicide Intervention
The HELPline is a free, confidential Crisis/Suicide Intervention service. Operated by highly trained volunteers, the line is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Phone: (951) 686-HELP (4357)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.
Phone: (800) 273-TALK (800-273-8255)
Spanish line: (888) 628-9454
TTY: (800) 799-4TTY (4889)
Veterans Crisis Line
The Veterans Crisis Line is a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) resource that connects Veterans in crisis or their families and friends with qualified, caring VA professionals.
Confidential support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: (800)-273-8255 Press 1
The Trevor Project Lifeline
National organization providing crisis and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) Youth
EMERGENCY PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS AFFILIATED WITH RUHSBH
Riverside University Health System Medical Center Emergency Treatment Services (ETS)
Provides psychiatric emergency services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all ages, which includes evaluation, crisis intervention, and referrals for psychiatric hospitalization, as needed for adults, children, and adolescents. Consumers may be referred to the Inpatient Treatment Facility (ITF) or other private hospitals.
9990 County Farm Road, Ste. 4
Riverside, CA 92503
Phone: (951) 358-4881
Se Habla Español
*Resource list compiled by Riverside University Mental Health System-Behavioral Health
We at Central Counseling Services Murrieta are looking forward to journey with you on your path to mental wellness. For appointments I may be contacted at 951-778-0230. We are located at 29970 Technology Drive #116 Murrieta, CA 92563.
By Susana Anaya-Baca, LCSW
Susana Anaya-Baca, LCSW joined Central Counseling Services as a therapist in 2018. She is a graduate of California State University Long Beach School of Social Work where she earned her Master in Social Work with a concentration in older adults and families (OAF). She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW#69056) and is licensed to practice psychotherapy in California since 2015. She is fluent in Spanish.
Ms. Anaya-Baca has experience working with a wide range of individuals and settings. Prior to entering private practice, she practiced as a clinical medical social worker with individuals and families facing life-limiting illness in the area of home health, palliative care and hospice. Susana is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.