ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) — September is Suicide Prevention Month and on Friday, mental health professionals were bringing awareness to this international problem.
September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day and according to the World Health Organization, more than 700,000 people die by suicide each year.
Statistics show, worldwide, about every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide.
“It is important to actually have a day that’s dedicated to preventing this very preventable form of death that is often occurring in otherwise healthy people,” said Dr. Neil Nedley, a physician in internal medicine with Nedley Clinic.
Nedley Clinic is based in California, but Dr.Nedley frequently travels to Rochester for work.
Nedley says everybody, no matter who you are, is prone to depression and anxiety.
“Studies show it takes four different categories of causes,” Nedley said. “One might be genetic. One might be you know trauma or betrayal trauma. And then if you put some biochemical issues that might come from nutrition or lack of light or exercise these things can pile up.
Over the last 20 years, mental health experts say there has been a clear rise in suicides.
There are several ways to tell if someone close to you is experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts, including changes in sleeping, eating or socializing.
“Even things like, things that people have joy in, whether it was like music or dance or sports and now they’re no longer finding joy and they’ve stepped away from them,” said Dr. Sue Adberholden, NAMI Minnesota Executive Director.
“Studies are very clear, it actually helps to ask the question, ‘Have you ever thought of ending your own life? Are you thinking of that now?’ Sometimes we’re afraid that we’re going to plant that thought in them, but actually no, we don’t implant the thought,” Nedley said. “We actually help alleviate that thought.”
With Saturday being 20 years since 9/11 and the tragic events that unfolded that day, Abderholden offers some advice when it comes to watching some of the footage.
“We want to remember people’s bravery, right,” Adberholden said. “Not just that people died. We want to remember that people tried to stop one of the planes from going into D.C. So there was a lot of bravery and courage that day as well, and so that might be something that we really want to hold on to and not just, I mean certainly we want to honor people that died, but there are other things to think about for tomorrow as well.”
As for ways to help those around you or yourself when it comes to depression or suicidal thoughts, there are crisis lines across Minnesota that you can call or text.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.