It was overtime at a Predator’s hockey game when I got the call.
I squeezed past my row of anxious fans.
I raced by food vendors, families in line for the bathroom, and tired security guards. I barreled down three sets of stairs, spilling into the closed off street next to the arena.
There’s an eerie stillness just before a hockey game lets out.
Especially during overtime.
Just before tourists are set loose on Lower Broadway.
For a few tense moments, it’s quiet.
I stood alone in downtown Nashville, trembling, as I learned about my close friend’s suicide. That was the moment my entire world changed.
The Truth about Suicide
Chances are, you have been touched by suicide, too.
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 24 to 35-year-olds.
Are you familiar with these heartbreaking facts?
- Nearly 30,000 Americans commit suicide every year.
- In the U.S., suicide rates are highest during the spring.
- About 2/3 of people who complete suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths. Depression that is untreated, undiagnosed, or ineffectively treated is the number 1 cause of suicide.
- Males make up 79% of all suicides, while women are more prone to having suicidal thoughts.
- There are 2 times as many deaths due to suicide than HIV/AIDS.
- Over 50% of all suicides are completed with a firearm.
The Link Between Mental Illness and Money Problems
Money and Mental Health Policy Institute points out the link between financial difficulty and suicide is well established.
According to their research, if you have had a “major financial crisis” within the past six months, you are nearly eight times more likely to experience suicidal thoughts. If you have multiple debts or are unemployed, you are particularly at risk.
Financial Resources in Tennessee
Tennesseans are especially vulnerable to financial issues.
Our state is among the top three in the country for foreclosures.
Where can we turn for help? Start with these resources:
Nashville Financial Empowerment Center
The Nashville Financial Empowerment Center provides free, professional financial counseling to Nashvillians citywide.
They help Davidson County residents reduce debt and build assets through free, one-on-one financial counseling incorporated into existing services offered in the city.
Tennessee Housing Development Agency
The Tennessee Housing Development Agency also offers free and confidential foreclosure prevention counselors throughout the state.
Tennessee Department of Treasury
The Tennessee Department of Treasury oversees a number of public programs dedicated to promoting financial literacy throughout Tennessee.
What You Can Do
- Know the suicide warning signs. These include talking about suicide, seeking lethal means, preoccupation with death, no hope, self-loathing, getting affairs in order, saying goodbye, withdrawing, self-destructive behavior, and a sudden sense of calm.
- Speak up. By reaching out and speaking with a loved one, you may provide relief from pent-up negative feelings and loneliness.
- Respond quickly in a crisis. Take all comments about death or suicide seriously. Try to evaluate the immediate danger this person may be in.
- Offer help and support. Being an empathetic, listening ear can go a long way. But don’t take responsibility for their recovery. Assist them with finding professional help. Be proactive during their treatment.
Losing a loved one to suicide is devastating—especially when money problems were involved. By speaking openly about the link between money and mental illness, we are further reducing the stigma.
This blog post is part of the World Suicide Prevention Day blog tour. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit www.Suicide.org.