Ellen Harris runs an organization for suicide prevention in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, but what they are seeing in Texas can be said about many other places as well.
Almost 50,000 Americans died by suicide in 2018, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. By comparison, in 2016 (the most recent year this information was available) in the U.S., 41,487 women died from a condition we hear much more about, breast cancer.
Over the last 20 years, the suicide rate in Tarrant County has increased 55%. That’s 14% faster than the population rate. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in Texas for young people ages 10 to 24, and almost 18% of Texas high school students reported seriously thinking about suicide.
Suicide is a crisis in this country. Why do we remain silent about it?
We need to talk about it. We need to get educated about the warning signs, and we need to care enough to have risky conversations about it. Yes, asking someone you care about if they are OK isn’t easy. It can lead to some hurt feelings, some anxiety, maybe even some shouting. None of that is pleasant.
Funerals are still worse.