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Editorial: Don’t be afraid to ask for help out of the darkness

One hundred thirty-two.

That is the average number of suicides per day in the United States.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., and in 2018, 48,344 Americans died by suicide.

This month for National Suicide Prevention Month, the foundation, mental health organizations and other groups across the country hope to emphasize the power of talking about suicide and connecting with others about mental health.

The foundation states though there is no single cause for suicide, it most often occurs when stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated, the foundation states. Conditions like depression, anxiety and substance problems can also increase risk for suicide.

Another risk is social isolation, and the foundation states there is scientific evidence that the risk of suicide can be reduced simply by making sure people connect with each other.

With the mental health challenges that have risen with COVID-19 and many people having limited interactions with others, it has never been more important to reach out to your friends, family and neighbors and to be there for those who may be struggling with their mental health. Remind them there is hope out of the darkness and that they do matter.

Don’t just assume family and friends know you are here for them. Instead, take time to go out of your way regularly to let others know you care.

Teach children to be aware of their feelings and that it’s OK to share their feelings with their parents or other trusted adults.

And, if you or someone you know is struggling, know it is OK to get help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.