Monsters & Critics / Cliffside Malibu

September Is Suicide Prevention Month; Veterans Still High Risk

September 11, 2015


President Barack Obama signs the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, which calls for evaluation of existing mental health and suicide prevention programs and expands the reach of these programs for veterans.

September is suicide prevention month and September 10th was world suicide prevention day.

People observed World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10th to raise awareness about and reach out to those affected by suicide.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization. A large number of those deaths are among young people between 15-29.

More than 800,000 people commit suicide every year, according to a report by WHO. But the report says that estimate is conservative because of the profound stigma in certain cultures attached to suicide-related deaths.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention suggests taking a proactive approach by checking in on those who may be at risk and by showing support for bereaved families.

The 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1 (800) 273-8255.

Richard Taite, founder and CEO of Cliffside Malibu, a preeminent addiction treatment center in Malibu, California, spoke to Monsters and Critics about how as a society, we are much more comfortable admitting physical problems than psychological ones.

Nowhere is this more true than in the military, where troops are trained to be tough and not acknowledge any weaknesses.

“Veterans need and deserve our support. With access to quality care, veterans can overcome PTSD, substance abuse and suicidal ideation. There is help available, but we have to do a better job of ensuring that those who need it have access to that care. Too many veterans die by their own hand. The time for action is now,” said Taite.

There are still internal stigmas within the ranks that discourage troops to seek help. Admission of a mental health problem can result in peer scorn, end of career opportunities for promotion, and shunning of family and friends.

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