This September I will be walking in the Out of Darkness Walk for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.
This is such a personal cause for me for so many reasons. This year we will be walking in memory of my cousin Shane Myrvold who died by suicide at the age of 18. Although I was young when it happened, I have seen first hand the impact it has on a family. His death is what sparked the desire to walk this year, which just happens to fall on the 20 year anniversary, but its not the only reason I feel compassion towards this cause.
I have seen so many close to me suffer through the years with mental illness and it frustrates me to know that it is still such a hushed topic. Why should it not receive as much attention or support from love ones as a heart attack? Depression can be just as dangerous and just as deadly. Why do we choose as a society to keep these, in most cases, very treatable illness’s in the “darkness”? So this is my small contribution to bring depression and mental illness out of the “darkness” and let those in need know that they have a support system.
Statistics from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.
Over 39,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year.
In 2011 (latest available data), there were 39,518 reported suicide deaths.
Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 15 and 64 years in the United States.
Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
A person dies by suicide about every 13.3 minutes in the United States.
Every day, approximately 108 Americans take their own life.
Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but three times as many females as males attempt suicide.
There are an estimated 8-25 attempted suicides for every suicide death (no complete count is kept of suicide attempts in the U.S.; however, the CDC gathers data each year from hospitals on non-fatal injuries resulting from self-harm behavior).
Statistics on Depression
Over 60 percent of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. If one includes alcoholics who are depressed, this figure rises to over 75 percent.
Depression affects nearly 10 percent of Americans ages 18 and over in a given year, or more than 24 million people
More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease (17 million), cancer (12 million) and HIV/AIDS (1 million)
About 15 percent of the population will suffer from clinical depression at some time during their lifetime. Thirty percent of all clinically depressed patients attempt suicide; half of them ultimately die by suicide.
The best way to prevent suicide is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment of depression and other mood disorders.
Depression is among the most treatable of psychiatric illnesses. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression respond positively to treatment, and almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms. But first, depression has to be recognized.
If you are interested in helping the cause you can DONATE here in hopes that we can provide those in need with a life raft. Or sign up for a walk in your area.