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Why don’t we talk about suicide? What can be done to prevent suicide?

  • Scott LaMar
National suicide prevention month, September. Banner, Holiday, poster, card

National suicide prevention month, September. Banner, Holiday, poster, card

Airdate: September 20th, 2023



More than 47,000 Americans die by suicide each year. For every suicide death, there are over 25 suicide attempts. Women are much more likely to attempt suicide but men actually die by suicide at a greater rate than women. In 2022, there were more deaths in the 25 to 44 years old age group than any other.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Awareness means talking about a topic many don’t discuss.

Govan Martin, Brian Sabo and Rachel Drosdick-Sigafoos on The Spark

Govan Martin, Chair and Executive Director of the Suicide Prevention Alliance, said on The Spark Wednesday that we don’t talk about suicide because it’s uncomfortable, “Most now are actually coming around to say it is a mental health issue and not condemning. But we still have a long way to go. That’s why conversations have to not just start just in the church (pointing out that the Catholic Church condemned suicide as a mortal sin), but between me and you, between our families. One piece of advice I’ll tell everybody, if you’re listening to the show, go home and ask your family member — “so what do you think about suicide” at the dinner table or and anytime you’re around and that will open up the conversation to see what they’re thinking. Would they reach out and get help?”

Dr. Rachel Drosdick-Sigafoos, a Crisis Specialist, was asked what if a person answers they are considering suicide,”I have a three step approach that I take. The first is to validate you must be hurting really badly. Things must have gotten to such a rough point in your life that you’re thinking about ending your life. I want to thank you for trusting me with that. So you’re now reinforcing that connection. And then the you know, you’re going to say, I’m not leaving you alone. This is a promise I’m making to you. I’m not leaving you alone. Where can we go? Who can we call to help keep you safe? So it’s a three step. The first is validate. The second is connect. The third is let’s start talking about solutions.”

Drosdick-Sigafoos said childhood trauma is a risk factor in suicide,”Individuals who have a history of adverse childhood experiences, which is a list of events that can happen in a young person’s life. So, the more traumas they have, the more likely they are to experience suicidal behavior. Someone who has a history of five adverse childhood experiences which can be sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, parent or family member incarcerated, being raised by somebody who has a mental illness, being raised by somebody who is struggling with addiction, as well as parental separation, that all of these things that they have, five of those, they are something like 24 times more likely to attempt suicide than somebody who has zero.”

Brain Sabo, Regional Director of Clinical Partnerships with Civiq Addiction and Mental Health Treatment appeared on The Spark and said he attempted to take his own life,”I was a police officer for a number of years. That’s where my mental health and my alcoholism really took off because I was afraid to ask for help. I didn’t want to be I want to appear as being weak and being that weak person. I want to be strong, on the outside, my life looked great. I was always groomed in decent shape. My house is pretty, but on the inside of my head, I couldn’t had the anxiety and depression. I never got help. It got too much. I went on a drinking spree for about three weeks straight. Nobody knew where I was. And and I had a suicide attempt. It’s only by the grace of God that I am here today. The next day I got the help that I needed and went to a hospital where some kind of help, I guess, and got myself in treatment for addiction. And then over the years since then, for over 12 years, I’ve been treating my mental health and my addiction and daily basis.”

Help is available

Call 988.

Speak with someone today

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.

Learn more about suicide risk factors and prevention from the National Institute of Mental Health here.
A listener said she was inspired to finish a poem she had started when hearing that The Spark would be discussing suicide.

Please Please Stay

Your struggle is real

The pain is in your eyes

The weight of it all crippling

You want to end it all

Trust me, I know

But, just listen a minute


Loves you

Needs you

Wants you

You are irreplaceable


A treasure of immeasurable value

You can overcome

You can survive

But you have to fight your hardest

Do no such violence against yourself

Curse suicide to hell

Stare it down

Yell at it loudly till it runs away

Don’t surrender to it

If you give in it will be the winner


If, you’re still not convinced that you should stay

Try this

Think of a dear someone

Right there with you

You wouldn’t want Her to see you do this

You wouldn’t want Him to witness it

Or, do such harm to herself/himself

See Her weeping

Look at Him crying

Reaching to stop you from jumping over the edge

Holding on to keep you from leaving

You wouldn’t want to be the author of such grief

Let Her be the reason you stay

Let Him be enough

Let Her/Him help you fight

Two are stronger than one

You will leave a void no-person can fill

A hole no-thing will fill

There is only you

There will never be another you

See, that’s why you should stay

Promise you will


And remember prayer is a super weapon

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