Our Views: Putting Mental Health in the Spotlight | News, Sports, Jobs

As noted on page 1 of the Saturday edition, September is nationally recognized as Suicide Prevention Month.

About 46,000 Americans died from suicide in 2020, according to CDC data, while more than 1.2 attempted suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 10 to her 14 in the United States, and the third leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 24.

Six billboards have been installed throughout Warren County, featuring works by Sheffield High School’s Carson Lyon and Kendra McBride, Youngsville High School’s Leah Carpenter, Samantha Wilhelm and Michael Carnahan, and last year’s graduate of Eisenhower High School, Taylor Napolitan.

The National Psychiatric Federation reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds in the United States, so it’s appropriate to feature the work of high school artists.

Nearly 20% of high school students report serious suicidal thoughts, and 9% have attempted suicide.

“It is important to remind people struggling with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts that they are aware of their struggles, seek help, and that they are not alone. Kari Swanson, CORE founder and mental health expert at Warren County Jail, told The Times Observer’s Bryan Ferry: “It is also important to let people who do not struggle with mental health problems or suicidal thoughts know how to approach this topic, what to look for and how to ask someone for help.”

Anyone needing help in a mental health emergency can call 988. The toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (800) 273-TALK (8255).

Most of us wouldn’t even consider missing our annual check-up with our doctor. Celebrating Suicide Prevention Month in September can serve a similar purpose for our mental health and the mental health of those we care about.

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