Suicide is a major public health concern
In 2016: Nearly 45,000 people died by suicide in the U.S., which equals approximately 1 death by suicide every 12 minutes; 9.8 million American adults seriously thought about suicide; 2.8 million made a plan; and 1.3 million attempted suicide (CDC). In Arkansas, 571 people died by suicide – an increase of 37% – more than double the rate of homicides in the same year.
Drug addiction significantly increases the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. Opioid use, in particular, is associated with anywhere from a 40% to 60% increased risk of suicidal thought, and a 75% increased risk of suicide attempt.
The Arkansas Department of Health has been designated by the Arkansas General Assembly as the state agency in charge of suicide prevention to combat the issue. The ADH Suicide Prevention Program is working to provide educational programs that encourage people from all walks of life to become knowledgeable about suicide prevention. For downloadable information, including a Suicide Prevention Toolkit, click here.
If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Here are a few links to further information about suicide prevention:
• The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: www.afsp.org
• Arkansas Suicide Prevention: www.arsuicideprevention.org
• Veterans Impact-Central Arkansas Veterans Mental Health Council: www.veteransimpact.org
• Arkansas Suicide Prevention Network: www.arsuicideprevention.org
• Suicide Safety Planning Guide: www.sprc.org
• National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention: www.actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org
• Funeral Director’s Guide to Supporting Suicide Survivors: www.sprc.org
• The Trevor Project: www.thetrevorproject.org
• Warning Signs for Suicide: www.suicidology.org
• Suicide Prevention Programs: www.healthy.arkansas.gov
Click the link to download a copy of the CDC’s Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, & Practices