Not minding your own business when it comes to suicide awareness

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among all age groups in the United States.
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 9:55 AM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Whenever people think of leading causes of death, they often think of cancer, gun homicides, or heart disease.

But there’s one cause of the death that ranks as high as those – or higher for many age groups – yet only gets a fraction of the attention: suicide.

“My whole life had been blown up,” said Terry Bentley Hill.

Hill is a survivor of suicide.

“I lost my former husband 27 years ago to suicide, and then nine years later, my 14-year-old daughter—I have four daughters—my youngest daughter also died by suicide,” Hill said.

That tremendous loss sparked hill’s passion for suicide awareness. She now travels the country to speak to people about suicide and depression.

“There’s a language of depression, and most of us don’t speak that language,” Hill said. “So, we have to learn it. And by learning it, we can spot verbal cues, and we can spot behavioral cues.”

This is why Hill preaches for people to do something that might not come easy.

“I encourage people to stop minding their own business, step out of their comfort zone, and ask the question, ‘Are you ok?’”

Since 2000, suicide rates in the United States have increased by nearly 30% to over 45,000 deaths per year.

In 2019, there were more than twice as many suicides as homicides.

And for middle-aged Americans, suicide kills more people than diabetes.

“If we don’t talk about it like we talk about other medical conditions, like diabetes or cancer or heart disease, if we don’t talk about it, then we can’t fix it,” Hill said.

So, pay attention to the crying coworker or the quiet family member, and never be afraid to not mind your own business.

“There is always hope,” Hill said. “You will not always feel this way.”

For those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or worry a loved one is struggling, there’s good news on the horizon.

Starting this July, 988 will replace the current 10-digit crisis number, allowing people to reach the national suicide prevention lifeline without remembering a full-on number.

However, if you’d like to speak with someone today, you can call 800-273-8255.

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