Tuesday was World Suicide Prevention Day. Every year more than 1 million people worldwide end their lives by suicide. That equals one death every 40 seconds. The number of suicides worldwide exceeds the number of homicides and deaths as a result of war. In the United States, more than 38,000 people end their lives by suicide. In Indiana the number is well over 800 and in Elkhart County the average over several years is 17 per year. As of September 2013, the number has already reached 13.
Take a moment to think about how you might prevent someone from dying by suicide. A smile, a kind word, a handshake, a wave of the hand to someone walking or driving by could make all the difference in changing a person’s decision to give up on life. “No one cares if I live or die,” is a comment often heard or thought by persons contemplating suicide.
Look around you. Are there people you know who are “feeling down” or depressed on a regular basis. Their behavior is just not what it has been. They don’t want to do anything, go anywhere. Talk to them about what is going on in their lives. Help them call 211 to find services that might make their lives better. If you believe they may be planning suicide, call 911.
Please take the time to really see the people around you. You could save a life.
— Jim Starkey
Suicide Prevention Coalition