I would like to preface this post by saying that I am not a doctor. I also would like to say that although I cannot relate to those suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts, I have supported loved ones who overcame mental health issues. Today marks the end of Suicide Prevention Week, which peaked on Suicide Prevention Day, September 10. Unfortunately, suicide and other mental health illnesses are often taboo topics that aren’t discussed except when they are news-worthy, like during this week or the untimely death of Robin Williams. However, awareness about depression and suicide prevention are topics that need to be discussed at any time of year because they are serious issues. According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 15-24 years, the second among persons aged 25-34 years, the fourth among person aged 35-54 years, and the eighth among person 55-64 years. Overall, it is the number ten killer in the United States, and for every suicide death, there are two to three attempts. Depression is a complicated illness that cannot be summarized in one blog post, but luckily there are some websites and apps that can help spread awareness and serve as conversation starters if you are concerned about yourself or a loved one. #1 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline This website serves as a go-to resource for anyone suffering or watching someone suffer from severe depression. It has statistics and resources, as well as a list of numbers to call by state. #2 TalkLife TalkLife is a community to talk about depression, self harm and life’s challenges. I personally like the design, but that is only a trivial detail compared to the anonymous community support it provides. The app has only four or five star reviews, and the those that have reviewed it have positive things to say. See some of the reviews below:
#3 ASK about suicide to save a life The ASK app provides a guide for talking to a loved one about depression and suicide. Although it’s features are a little obsolete, it’s content is not. It provides warning signs and links to ASK training. It is also in English and Spanish, with subsections for Veterans and LGBTQ.