An average of 130 people take their lives each day in the United States, making it the 12th leading cause of death.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Fatal Injury Report for 2020, 45,979 Americans died by suicide, 1.2 million attempted it, 12.2 million thought about it, and 3.2 million made a plan. Between 1999 and 2019, suicide deaths increased by 33% and continue to rise.
While the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide has lessened over the last few decades, medical professionals still struggle with ways to treat patients and assist families facing these traumatic situations. Physicians at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus are doing their part to bring awareness to suicide prevention in an effort to try and help those struggling and their families achieve better outcomes.
Below, Laura Kelley, media relations professional in the CU Anschutz Office of Communications, speaks with Emmy Betz, MD, MPH, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and co-founder of the Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition, about the warning signs that someone may be thinking about taking their life, what families and medical professionals can do, and common misconceptions