Suicide… a taboo and weight-filled word.
But it’s a word we need to get more comfortable saying. We need to collectively acknowledge that suicide is painfully all too common. That’s why this week, Suicide Prevention Week, and this entire month of September, Suicide Prevention Month, is so very important. It’s time for us to face the facts and have open and honest conversations about suicide.
The news headlines last week included the death by suicide of Neena Pacholke, a 27-year-old TV news anchor in Wisconsin. Her family, friends, and co-workers have been left reeling because, by all accounts, Neena had a seemingly “normal” life, possibly even viewed as above average from outside sources. It came as an utter shock that Neena took her own life.
Neena’s story is just one of too many on a daily basis. According to the 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, someone in the U.S. dies by suicide every 11 minutes. For each suicide, there are 4 hospitalizations, 8 emergency department visits, 27 self-reported attempts, and 275 people who seriously considered suicide.
So yes… let’s talk about it. Let’s peel back the layers of stigma and mystery and get real that this is happening to our loved ones, our neighbors, our co-workers.
In that conversation, let’s talk about how help is available: