One wonders how a person who appears to be so happy and excited about life, like comedian Robin Williams, would commit suicide.
While some reasons were mentioned as to what could have caused his depression, many people can't help but be puzzled as to why he ended his life when he had all the resources available to him. The fact that it was such a shock probably meant he wanted to keep his reasons to himself.
American mortality data is collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and this includes deaths by suicide. In 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, 39,518 suicides were reported. That's one every 13.3 minutes in the U.S., making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.
While there is help for those considering suicide, the aid formula is still not a sure thing in preventing it, and much work needs to be done. Making people aware of it and discussing depression and suicide need to be in the forefront.
Chances are you might have considered suicide or know someone who has. Unfortunately, many people don't know where to turn.
Awareness of suicide prevention is important to encourage people to seek help and to let them know they are not alone. Help comes in many forms, such as medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, therapy, electrowconvulsive therapy and other successful treatments. It is best to talk to a family member or friend that can be your advocate in finding a good psychiatrist or psychologist to evaluate the best treatment.
Mental health issues need to be talked about in order to seek solutions, just as a person would with a serious physical ailment.
It's good to know there are people in the area who bring the conversation of suicide out of the darkness to heighten awareness of this problem. They are the North Country Out of the Darkness group, and they are now looking for people to lead teams for the Out of the Darkness Community Walk on Sunday, Oct. 5, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Olympic Speedskating Oval in Lake Placid.
The Out of the Darkness Community Walks are the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's main fundraising campaign, featuring 3- to 5-mile walks in hundreds of communities across the country.
We encourage you to get your family, friends, school, civic group or co-workers together to walk and raise awareness in order to prevent suicide. You might save a life just by participating, so register today.
Those who participate in the Out of the Darkness Community Walks share a common vision with the AFSP - a world without suicide.
For more information on the Oct. 5 event, contact Linda McClarigan at 518-791-1544 or by email at NorthCountryWalk@gmail.com. To register, visit online at www.afsp.org/crnywalks and find North Country Walk.