Rising concerns over suicidal thoughts in nation

Thursday, May 16, 2024, is Mental Health Action Day, and the nonprofit Mental Health America is urging community members to take care of themselves and their loved ones. Schroder Stribling is President and CEO of MHA. She says in 2023, millions of people took one of MHA’s 11 mental health screens.

According to Stribling, recent new statistics show youth suicidal ideation is raising concerns among mental health advocates.

“One is about the number of people who are depressed and having frequent suicidal ideation,” Stribling said. “Of all the people who took the depression screen, there were about a third of them who said they were having frequent suicidal ideation.”

Unfortunately, the numbers were higher for some populations.

“And even more concerning is the number for youth. That number goes up to about 50% for youth. So, about half of all youth who come to take a screen because they’re concerned about depression say that they’re thinking about having thoughts of suicide more than half the days.

That is an enormously concerning figure. And within that, we’re also concerned about special populations who have some of the highest rates of suicidal ideation, which include BIPOC and LGBTQ individuals, both youth and adults.”

This year’s theme is “Where to Start,” the campaign provides basic steps on how to find help. Visit www.mhanational.org for more information.

The organization urges anyone who is struggling or in crisis to call or text 988.

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