The World Health Organization marks today as Suicide Prevention Day in an effort to raise awareness and help prevent hundreds of thousands of suicides that occur each year around the world. That number may seem both shocking and astronomical, but sadly, it’s true.
According to the WHO, over 800,000 people die by suicide across the world each year. The sadder truth is that they say, “This estimate is conservative, with the real figure likely to be higher because of the stigma associated with suicide, lack of reliable death recording procedures, and religious or legal sanctions against suicide in some countries.”
In the United States somebody takes their own life every 13 minutes; and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans are far more likely to kill themselves than to kill each other. The CDC estimates between 40,000 to 50,000 people die by their own hands every single year in the United States. More shocking is that research shows that 90 percent of all suicides are due to a treatable mental health disorder.
Broken down by gender, women are less likely to kill themselves because they are more likely to reach out for help, yet they still account for nearly 23 percent of all suicides in the United States. In 2013, men had a suicide rate of 20.2 percent, and women had a rate of 5.5 percent. Of those who died by suicide in 2013, 77.9 percent were male and 22.1 percent were female.
If you’ve read nothing else in this article… if nothing has sunk in, please read this one sentence: 10 Million of us are suffering without the proper mental health care and we have to stop ignoring each other’s pain immediately. Luckily, traditional suicide prevention methods have caught up to technology and now we have some of the best suicide prevention apps in history:
1. ASK & Prevent Suicide by Mental Health America of Texas
This app developed by the Department of State Health Services Mental Health of Texas provides both educational resources as well as crisis prevention. The app developers designed the information based on the best practices offered for suicide prevention training, making this app an extremely popular option.
2. Suicide Safe by SAMHSA
According to the app, it is a suicide prevention learning tool with a behavioral health provider component and is nationally recognized by the suicide assessment five step evaluation and triage practice guidelines. This app provides tips and offers real time “what to do” action, as well as referrals for treatment.
3. The Jason Foundation’s A Friend Asks by Bluechip Athletic Solutions
If you suspect that someone in your life may be suicidal, this app provides help for you. Would you even know how to respond if you recognize that somebody close to you was about to take their own life? This app provides warning signs as well as do’s and don’ts for you to help the person you love or even just someone you know who is in crisis.
4. ReliefLink by Emory University
Emory University has always been on the cutting edge of human development. This app is incredibly innovative, designed specifically for improving mental health and offering help near you in your area immediately if you are in crisis. You can track your mood daily and be active in your own progress. It’s a very cognitive behavioral approach. This app also has a place for you to put all of your important information, like insurance information and your doctor’s details.
Created in partnership with the California mental health services authority, this app lets you stay in touch with your network and plan to stay safe. You can be prepared to help yourself and reach out to others when you’re having thoughts of suicide.
6. You Are Important — Depression, Suicide and Bullying Prevention Videos App
This app is from the same people behind It Gets Better. The campaign to prevent suicide in the gay community started by Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller. This particular app is geared towards the LGBT community. The developers call it the little app with the big message: You are important.