By CAROLINE BOYER
National Suicide Awareness Week is in full swing, and people around the country are joining together to bring attention to the subject, honor and remember their loved ones, and help those who are struggling.
Suicide is a topic that people are commonly uneducated on, or uncomfortable to talk about. In America, someone dies from suicide every 12.8 minutes, and at least 90% of of all people who commit suicide have a history of, or are currently struggling with a mental illness, such as depression.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is determined to shine light on the topic, and with the help of National Suicide Awareness Week events, have been increasingly successful. Over 300 Out of the Darkness community walks are taking place this week around the country, with more than 120,000 people participating to raise awareness and funds.
There are many options to get involved in suicide prevention and to remember loved ones, including being an advocate in your school or community, spreading the word on social media with #StopSuicide, and creating a quilt square on the AFSP digital quote.
The AFSP asks for everyone to learn the risk factors and warning signs of someone who is suicidal. If someone is feeling trapped or in pain, as if they are a burden, or on the edge of giving up, it is necessary to get immediate help. Many people do not receive proper care when experiencing these feelings of depression, and that is when suicide is most prominent. It is important to get help, and not to attempt to deal with the situation on your own.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or you can go online to www.afsp.org