Suicide is a major public health issue, taking the lives of 38,384 people annually in the United States, according to the most recent publication of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In fact, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans, and 1 in 6 people are survivors of the suicide of a loved one.
What can you do about suicide?
You can show you care by talking with friends and loved ones. If you are worried that they seem depressed, despondent and impulsive, it’s important to express concern in a caring way.
Ask if they are thinking of ending their lives. And refer them for professional help if the answer is “yes.”
Some important phone numbers for crisis assistance include: the National Suicide Prevention Line at 800-273-TALK; and the Centre County CAN HELP Line at 800-643-5432.
Penn State students can receive counseling and crisis services at the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services at 863-0395.
If you are afraid that someone is in immediate danger, call 911.
This week you can also take action by participating in the annual Out of the Darkness Walk on Sunday at Sydney Friedman Park in State College.
For more information or to register, go to www.outofthedarkness.org.
The 5K walk raises funds to support national and local efforts of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Mary Anne Knapp