JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The rates for suicide and people considering suicide have increased over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thursday is World Suicide Prevention Day, raising awareness for different resources available to those with suicidal thoughts.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in teenagers and young adults.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine with NYITCOM Dr. Bhavesh Joshi says the slight increase in suicide and suicidal thoughts during the pandemic can be linked to a number of stresses.
“We are all under some sort of stress or some sort of extra pressure that’s affecting us, especially mentally,” said Joshi.
Social distancing and limited contact with others can also play a large part in increased depression.
“As a species, humans, we are social characters,” said Joshi. “We’re not able to socialize and comfort like we have been and so that can definitely affect people’s outlook and their psyche as well.”
Financial stress from furloughs or lost jobs, physical stress from contracting the virus or caring for others, and general worry over the ongoing pandemic can also lead to increased depression and possibly lead to suicide or suicide ideation.
Dr. Joshi says one of the best ways to help those experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings is to be there for them.
“Let them know that they’re not alone and kind of allow them to decompress a little bit, maybe share their story or maybe let them talk a little while uninterrupted,” said Joshi. “And then you can start that process of saying, 'look, you’re not alone, let’s get you somebody who can professionally listen and talk to you and have that conversation.”
Making sure you have the right contact information for professional help is one of the biggest ways to help.
There are several resources for those dealing with suicidal thoughts.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255 or text “TALK” to 741741, there is also a website you can visit here.
You can visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website here.
The Jason Foundation focuses on youth suicide prevention, visit the website here or text “Jason” to 741741.
You can also call 911 in an emergency situation dealing with suicide or suicidal thoughts.