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Suicide Prevention Week is dedicated to ending the silence and shame surrounding suicide loss and preventing future tragedies. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet is one of the few which is 100 percent preventable. Connection, compassion, and empathy can help to bridge the gap of social isolation and helplessness that often contributes to suicide rates. During this week and everyday, it is important that we join together to bring light to those lost in the darkness and remember those who have left too soon.

Substance abuse and addiction are not necessarily indicative of suicidal ideation or intent, but they may point toward underlying mental health and emotional issues that need to be addressed. While more than 47,000 people died by suicide in 2017, over 70,000 people were lost to overdose. Both are symptomatic of deeper lying problems which must be addressed in order to allow growth and change.

Suicide Affects Us All

When a loved one dies by suicide, it is world shattering. More often than not, it’s completely unexpected and seemingly senseless. We hear those lost to suicide described as joyful, happy, and content with life in the days before their passing. This sudden change in mood after a period of depression can be indicative of one’s final decision to act on suicidal thoughts. Suicide and suicide attempts leave many reeling, questions how they could have missed the signs or blaming themselves for failing to intervene earlier.

Though the media often depicts suicide as something one does in a moment of passionate despair, the reality looks completely different. Many victims of suicide are described as being in good spirits in the days leading up to their passing, including Linkin Park singer Chester Benington and world-reknown food expert Anthony Bourdain. 

The answer to ending the suicide epidemic is a complex one. Greater access to mental health services, suicide prevention initiatives, challenging stigmas surrounding seeking help, and community support from friends, family, can go a long way in saving lives. At Harbor Village, we help clients dealing with mental health disorders associated with addiction learn to cope and manage symptoms to help mitigate suicidal thoughts and ideation.

Through mindfulness, seeking safety, and other applicable tools, we empower our clients to be able to keep themselves grounded and recognize signs of trouble. Our ongoing community support following completion of treatment helps to ensure no one feels isolated or unable to express themselves in a safe and accepting environment. 

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is out there. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline provides confidential support and resources to those in need. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out. 1 (800) 273-8255