- 44,193 Americans die by suicide annually, translating into 121 suicides per day. It is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.
- For every death by suicide, there are 25 attempts.
- In 2015, the age group with the highest suicide rate was adults between 45 and 64 years of age.
- Suicides cost the United States $51 billion annually.
|Dr. Celia Spacone|
What is this event about?
is called the International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. On Saturday, it will be occurring. We’ve been hosting it
for ten years at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, and it is an international event. Last year, they had 350 locations worldwide. Our local event starts at noon at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, in the Butler Rehabilitation
Building. There is ample free parking nearby, and it is open to the community,
free of charge.
Registration starts at noon. We actually provide a light lunch
because it is a chance for people to be together. There will be resources and some
information available for people. The program begins at 1 p.m., with a candle
lighting remembrance, and then we show the documentary that the American Federation for Suicide Prevention provides us with, called
“The Journey: A Story of Healing and Hope.” The documentary is about people
who lost someone to suicide. It was made in 2014. Then they followed up with
them to see how they are progressing now.
Then we have a panel discussion, with two
people who have lost family members to suicide and a grief and bereavement
counselor. The audience has a chance to ask questions. I usually moderate, but, this year, I am stepping back and asking someone else to moderate. That will be
Kimberly Karalus, and she is the outpatient unit chief at Buffalo Psychiatric Center.
usually very well received. People tell us that they find it comforting and a
chance to see other people who have shared this experience, which can be a
very lonely experience. If you lose someone to cancer or heart disease, people
show up at your door with casseroles, and they provide a lot of support and
comfort. When people lose someone to suicide, there’s a bit of hesitance to talk
about it openly. It is very hard for the family members to get the support
that they desperately need because of the stigma, which is getting better.
People are talking more about suicide. It is the tenth leading cause
of death in the United States.
aged men: there are lots of theories about it. Men in general die by suicide more because
they tend to use more lethal methods, particularly firearms. When firearms are
used, the lethality increases. The term that we use is completed suicide or death by
encourage them to come because it is a welcoming, supportive atmosphere. It’s
kind of a large auditorium. You can sit in the front and ask questions or sit in
the back and be by yourself. It’s a good chance to look around a room and see a
lot of people who look like regular people and who have the same thing that you
have. It emphasizes that you are not alone. This year, we are going to have
another element. We are going to have two therapy dogs present. They are very
attempt to death in youth is about twenty-five to one; in the elderly, it is four to one.
Why do more elderly die as the result of a suicide attempt?
The elderly may
be more fragile.
What are some of the causes for suicides among youths?
Suicide rates for teens had been declining for two decades, but they
rose from 2010 to 2015, and it coincides or correlates with rising social media
use. Cyber bullying is one. The other thing about social media is that everyone posts about
how perfect and wonderful their lives are. If you’re feeling bad or
depressed, you look at it and think that you are more of an outlier than you
really are. People post the good things that happen, so it gives them a skewed
vision of how everyone else is doing and they might feel that they are much more
out of line with what are people are doing.
attempt suicide twice as often as males. They have more attempts, but men are
four times more likely to die because they are using more lethal methods.
need to have honest discussions with friends and family. They need to
understand that depression is treatable. They need to help to keep their
friend or family member safe until they can get help, but not have them feel bad
for confessing their feelings because you want them to be able to tell you.
The American Federation for Suicide Prevention has a 24-7 lifeline: 1.800.273.TALK
can text the word TALK to this number: 741741
services in Buffalo is available 24-7 to do outreach if needed: 716.834.2310. They
can even come out and do an on-site evaluation or provide linkages to help you
is treatable. It’s about finding hope and finding a way.
If you have lost a friend or family member to suicide, please consider coming to Saturday’s event at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. You are not alone.