Discussing suicide is one of the world’s last great taboo’s, but today is World Suicide Prevention Day and celebrities are urging people to “take a minute, change a life.” Let’s face it, talking about suicide isn’t easy, just how do you raise such a difficult subject with someone you are worried about? None of us like to think that a friend or loved one could be contemplating suicide, but sadly, suicide is all too common, and it’s a growing problem among young people.
According to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, almost 45,000 Americans end their own lives each year. Suicide is the 10th biggest killer in the U.S., and it is the second most common cause of death amongst males aged between 15 and 25. Those statistics mean that 121 people commit suicide every day in the U.S. alone. For every suicide death, there are at least 25 suicide attempts, that adds up to over 3,000 suicide attempts in the U.S. every single day.
According to Metro, the U.S. statistics are a drop in the ocean; worldwide, over 800,000 people worldwide commit suicide each year. If you struggle to get your head around those numbers, that means the equivalent of the residents of a city the size of San Francisco commits suicide each year.
That’s why celebrities are urging us to “take a moment, change a life” on World Suicide Prevention Day. Teen Vogue reports that celebrities like Halsey, Logic, Khalid, and rock band Metallica are putting their weight behind this year’s Suicide Prevention Day, and the campaign that runs for all of this week. Those celebrities and many others are contributing to an initiative by radio broadcasting company Entercom, who are broadcasting a two-hour special on all their platforms today.
The Entercom initiative is called “I’m Listening” and will feature a host of celebrities and medical professionals who will be discussing mental health and suicide prevention. The premise is a simple one because if we can talk about mental health and suicide, we can help to tackle the problem.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Logic and Khalid have spoken out about suicide prevention. They stunned the audience at this year’s VMA’s with their suicide prevention song “1-800-273-8255.” The song title is the telephone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The song has already chalked up over 80 million views on YouTube.
On World Suicide Prevention Day, the message is a simple one. We can all make a huge difference to those who are struggling if we can just take a few minutes to listen and offer a word of support in a non-judgemental way. It really can be that easy to save a life, so on World Suicide Prevention Day “taking a minute really can change a life.”
If you, or someone you know, are having thoughts of suicide, you can get help and support from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255, text “Connect” to 741741 or contact the Samaritans.
[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Images]