We’re going to hit “pause” on our usual content stream for a moment. So we won’t be talking much about closing cost calculators, TRID guidelines or mortgage compliance this week. This is actually much more important (not that those other things aren’t important…).
National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month
If you didn’t already know it, September was National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. This is a much bigger deal than many people realize. Or, at least, the issue is. So we had the privilege of talking with Dr. Shira Kafker on our own Triple L podcast. (LINK)
Dr. Kafker had a lot of great things to say. And a lot of eye-opening things as well.
Suicide is a Real Problem.
Did you know suicide was the second leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 10 and 34 in 2019?
Second. Ahead of things like homicide or cancer.
Suicide was the tenth leading cause overall in the United States. Over 47,500 people. And there were nearly two and a half times as many suicides in the United States as there were homicides.
That’s a real problem.
But Here’s a Bigger Problem.
Here in 2021, depression and anxiety—the two biggest gateways to suicide—in some form affect 40 million adults age 18 and over in the United States each year. And although these disorders are very treatable, only 36.9% of those suffering actually receive treatment. That’s perhaps the biggest problem. We’re still in denial as a nation when it comes to the fact that mental health is a real issue; mental disorders are real illnesses and suppressing, ignoring or making light of those facts that is real stupid.
You Can Make a Difference in the Workplace.
As Dr. Kafker told us, the workplace is actually a very good place to start. People suffering from anxiety and depression disorders may tend to withdraw from other social outlets or gatherings where the symptoms can be identified. But many of us go to work with other people every day whether we feel like it or not.
It’s really our duty to create workplace atmospheres that encourage, rather than discourage, good mental health. It’s suggested that when someone’s typical behavior patterns change dramatically, that’s usually a good sign that depression or anxiety is involved. And many times, people suffering from those disorders will tell others in so many words. It’s up to us to hear those words and see the signs, then act.
That means a conversation. Ask if your colleague is feeling ok. And be willing to encourage them to talk to a professional or at least look into it if they’re willing to admit they’re not ok.
Let’s Get Started on Tackling This Problem.
We wonder how many of those 47,500 people had that opportunity before they took their own lives. And if things like National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month make even 1% of that number more willing to take a moment to see the warning signs and take appropriate action, it’s been well worth it.
And if this week’s Deeper Thoughts encourages even one of our faithful readers to think again about taking suicide or mental health lightly, then we’ve just published our most important posting yet.
Thinking about taking your own life or know someone who is?
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