According to a June 2018 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., yet social stigmas and inadequate research funding persist.
The CDC report found that suicide rates rose 30 percent since 1999 in half of all states. Additionally, according to the report more than half of the 45,000 people who died by suicide in 2016 had no known or diagnosed mental health condition. Although that doesn’t mean that the individual wasn’t suffering from mental health issues–just that they were undiagnosed or those around them were unaware of these health issues.
Ironically, the new CDC report was released around the time we learned of the untimely suicides of fashion icon, Kate Spade, and celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain. And as NATSAP members know all too well, suicide or suicide risk doesn’t just affect adults — adolescents and young people are often at risk and may have poorer coping skills than adults.
While the report points to family problems, poor physical health, shaky finances or legal stress as factors that may contribute to an individual taking their life, unfortunately, there’s not a single factor that can be isolated as the “cause.” Rather, it is often a combination of factors.
In some cases that involve young people, including the Sandy Hook school shooting, the parents try to get help, but find that the public mental health facilities are full. In these cases, the parent may take the child home and wait for a space, unaware of where else to turn. Unfortunately, in some cases the young person acts out before they are able to get help.
In these cases, NATSAP member programs may provide a more immediate solution. NATSAP members include therapeutic boarding schools, day treatment programs, residential treatment programs, wilderness therapy programs, young adult programs, and home-based residential programs that may offer an alternative solution to parents seeking help for their children facing a wide variety of mental health issues.
While NATSAP does not provide placement services, it does provide an online search tool of NATSAP members and require its members to adhere to specific policies, guidelines and outcomes assuring parents and families that their children are in facilities committed to help their children. For more information, go to www.natsap.org.”
For more information about CDC’s Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy. Programs, and Practices, click here https://bit.ly/2AnZWRU.