Mental Health and Suicide

Since 1949, Mental Health America and its affiliates across the country have led the observance of May as Mental Health Awareness Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events, and screenings. It raises awareness of trauma and the impact it can have on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children, families, and communities. Cities and businesses across the country hold various events to support mental health and open up the lines of communication. Many websites provide ideas for businesses to support their employees during the month of May and beyond.

According to the CDC, suicide rates in our country increased by 36% between 2000-2021. Suicide was responsible for 48,183 deaths in 2021 alone, which is about one death every 11 minutes. We know that many mental health disorders-including depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and PTSD-come with a heightened risk of suicidal thoughts or attempts. While seeking help for suicidal thoughts or behaviors is critical regardless of the cause, securing a specific diagnosis may help the individual receive treatment-especially ongoing treatment -that is best suited to their mental health needs.

Mental Health America says that up to 60% of people who die by suicide have major depression, and research suggests that the majority of suicides are related to a psychiatric condition. If you or someone you know is depressed, there are effective treatments available. Talking to your doctor is a good first step, and you can also visit the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness to learn more about support groups that you might find helpful.