Prevent a suicide; be there to show you care
Prevent a suicide; be there to show you care
The USA ranks 27th in a list of 176 nations published by the WHO in 2019, with a rate of 15.3 suicides per 100k, an increase of nearly 2 figures from the 13.4 in 2016. In fact, in the USA, the rate of suicide is double than that of homicide, as revealed in a University of Washington Study in October, 2018 & yet it never gets the same attention. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director, said, “The widespread nature of the increase, in every state but one, really suggests that this is a national problem hitting most communities.” Nadine Kaslow, a past president of the American Psychological Association, says that based upon the large increase across the spectrum of age, race, gender, suicide is no longer only a mental health problem but a public health concern.
Suicide must be given the same importance as homicide and other public/national health issues.
This petition does not intend to change any state laws in place for aiding or abetting of suicide, including Assisted Suicide with physician's help.
The way to solve any problem is to track down the causes, address them with an aim to minimize their presence as far as practicable.
1. The first step is to recognize the vast range in cases of suicide just as in any death so we do not label each case under the single header of "mental illness", do minimal investigative work, close the file, push shut the drawer and conclude that there is nothing else to be done. We must mandate adequate police investigation into the circumstances of each suicide if we want to prevent future cases through promotion of healthy lifestyles. Each suicide is unique and deserves to be treated that way, with the respect, dignity due to it.
2. Some known causes of suicide are I) trauma, like the recent Parkland student suicides, the Sandy Hook father case, the many war veterans' cases etc., II) economic downturns, III) opioid and other drug addictions, including prescription drugs, IV) time & space specific cultural attitudes, V) strained relationships with recent or looming crises , VI) difficulties at work which appear irremediable, VII) bullying or becoming a victim of abuse of power of any sorts, VIII) easy availability of means of suicide.
As a nation, we need to address all of the above and consider how to mitigate their negative impact upon human minds. We need to create procedures that will bring together governmental & social agencies to teach people how to manage breakups, failures, job stresses etc., starting at school through all our adult lives. Regulations must be in place, committees formed, investigations & researches conducted & reported, meetings held, paths explored and evaluated on a regular, periodical basis, AS MANDATED BY LAW, AT A NATIONAL LEVEL.
In 2006, Japan enacted The Basic Act of Suicide Prevention & an amendment of it in April, 2016, stating: National and local governments must facilitate coordination of various mental health professionals and civic groups for suicide prevention. National and local governments are also to implement measures to educate business owners and school teachers and staff about suicide prevention. For college and high school teacher and staff training, the special characteristics of college and high school education must be taken into consideration.
Japan has also mandated the National Police to collect & release detailed data on suicides at the municipal level so that preventive measures can be shaped to suit local needs. As a result, suicide rates fell in Japan from 21.4 per 100k in 2013 to 18.5 in 2019.
If Japan can do it, so can we. We need the House & the Senate to take up the cause as a BIPARTISAN, NATIONAL issue, for the well-being of our people, creating the bodies and detailing the measures whereby the different agencies will work together to effectively prevent/reduce suicidal deaths. We call on our representatives to take action at a national level as the situation has reached a stage of public health crisis, affecting the entire population of USA, irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity. All states, except Nevada (drop of 1%) are reporting continuous rises in suicide and therefore it should be considered a federal emergency. To look away will be a national shame.
I am a grieving mother. I lost my son to suicide six months ago today. I want to stop that pain which makes people feel so trapped that they can see no other option but to end their life. Every single one of us must be aware of what role we can play to prevent someone from feeling this way. Let us kindle hope, be kind, loving and respectful.
Like the crescent moon giving off gentle light as it sails through the sky, let us help those stuck in despair see the soft glow of hope lighting up their way; let us help them feel the warmth of love and not desolation. Let them feel on their back the gentle touch of the rise of the favorable wind so that they may set sail in the journey of life, not drift towards death.