Suicide Awareness

September 13, 2018
by Elizabeth Cusulas
September is Suicide Awareness Month. We must bring attention and sensitivity to the conversation around this serious matter.

On September 17th, my weekly LIVE video podcast, “Grow Your Guru,” premieres with an episode featuring Common Ground. We’ll talk about suicide awareness and prevention – and what steps you can take. If you, or a loved one, is experiencing any crisis, please call or text their Anonymous Hotline at 1-800-231-1127.

Did you know…

According to a recent study by the CDC,

  • Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2016.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
  • There were more than twice as many suicides in the United States as there were homicides
  • More than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition.
  • Suicide rates have increased in almost every state – over 31% in Michigan

CDC-Suicide Rates on the Rise

Suicide has been a taboo subject for too long. Please speak up and reach out if you, a loved one, or a friend, are going through crisis and need any sort of help – even just a listening ear. Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention, and should not be ignored.

Top 10 Signs and Symptoms

  1. Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  2. Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
  3. Talking about great guilt or shame
  4. Talking about being a burden to others
  5. Using alcohol or drugs more often
  6. Withdrawing from family and friends
  7. Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
  8. Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  9. Giving away important possessions
  10. Saying goodbye to friends and family

Ask: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.

Suicide does not discriminate. Men are more likely to die by suicide than women, but women are more likely to attempt suicide. Men are more likely to use deadlier methods, such as firearms or suffocation. Women are more likely than men to attempt suicide by poisoning. Recent figures released by the CDC show that the highest rate of suicide deaths among women is found between ages 45 and 64, while the highest rate for men occurs at ages 75+. Children and young adults also are at risk for suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 34. It’s time to stop judging and start listening. This CDC Fact Sheet outlines what communities and individuals can do to identify and support people at risk.

If You Know Someone in Crisis
Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to everyone. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889. All calls are confidential.

In future posts (and on my show), I will offer continuing insight on subject of suicide. I’ll explore why it’s so hard to talk about (both in and out of therapy), the impact on survivors, the societal stigma, and other issues that must be part of our ongoing effort to confront this growing crisis.

About the Author

Susie Kamen – LMSW, CIRT, SILC
Host of Grow Your Guru on New Radio Media

“I was fortunate to have the type of childhood that provided enough baggage that would require me to pay extra at any airline counter. Although I did not always appreciate my luggage, once I began to unpack it, the “Growth Gifts” inside became the foundation for my lifelong journey to grow, learn, and serve.

For the past 27 years, I’ve been a therapist working with individuals, couples, families, and adolescents. I have expertise in premarital counseling, divorce recovery, anxiety, and depression, and specialize in relationships and communication – including the relationship you have with yourself. I’m passionate about my own growth and dedicated to providing safety and the non-judgmental space necessary for your sacred journey of personal growth.

Unfortunately, we are not taught to care for our mental health individually, or in relationships, without stigma or shame. I remain committed to my mission to teach the value of growing in every area of life, so you may unpack your baggage and grow!”

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This weekly LIVE show is created based on a belief that within each of us is our “inner guru”, our true self, which is beautiful, whole, complete, and worthy.

TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE! Life circumstances – and the stories we tell ourselves – often cause us to forget the truth of who we really are. We then show up in our lives with self-limiting and self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. This show will provide strategies, inspiration, motivation, tools, interviews, and Growth Gifts to enhance and transform every area of your life.

CHANGE YOUR STORY! Together we can change your story, unleash your soul, teach you how to create connection in your relationships, and produce empowering and positive choices that are in alignment with the life you deserve and desire. Let’s get Growing! It is never too late to heal and step into your true potential.

“As a psychotherapist, Imago therapist and Robbins-Madanes Strategic Intervention Life Coach, it is my intention that Grow Your Guru provides services and tools that promote GROWTH in every area of your life and reconnects you to your inner Guru. I provide coaching services that promote healing, increase awareness and insight, help you transcend limitations, and help you reach your full potential by GROWING in every area of your life. ” Host, Susie Kamen