Published on: June 11, 2018 | by uwdecatur
When she was just 13, Sophia began struggling with depression. She had little energy, little appetite, and trouble sleeping. She tried therapy, hospitalization, and medication to manage her depression and the impulse to self-harm, but found herself thinking about suicide on more than one occasion.
She found out about 2-1-1 and called to speak to someone during some of her lowest moments, finding their support and kindness to be just what she needed.
“If I was home alone and tempted to self-harm or something…. they were always great at talking me through it,” said Sophia, who lives in Maryland.
Sophia is among the millions of people who rely on 2-1-1 for support and assistance during a mental health crisis or when seeking advice on behalf of a loved one. She is also one of the 16 million Americans who struggles with depression each year, and is part of a generation whose suicide rate has been increasing for the past few years. Unfortunately, too many people who struggle like Sophia did are lost to suicide each year—almost 45,000 people in the U.S. in 2016.
The recent deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade are tragic reminders that struggling with mental illness and suicidal thoughts don’t discriminate. Suicide impacts families across the U.S. regardless of race, ethnicity, income level, or employment status. Too many Americans can’t afford life-saving treatments and therapies, while many others aren’t even aware that resources exist or that the symptoms they notice in loved ones are indicative of a mental health crisis.
As we mourn the loss of Mr. Bourdain and Ms. Spade, we encourage you to learn more about the symptoms and signs of suicide ideation and to seek help if you are struggling.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255. If you need assistance finding a local counseling center, therapy option, or other resource, call 2-1-1 to speak to a specialist in your area.
Story from Rachel Krausman, 2-1-1 Senior Director - United Way Worldwide