I’m sitting here listening to Stryper and having a cup of coffee (decaf in case you’re wondering). Today has been an odd day. I have been overly emotional ever since reading something that a friend posted on Facebook this morning. Once I saw his post it seemed like everything I clicked on or read brought tears to my eyes.
I spent the better part of this morning thinking about suicide (not committing it). I had the unfortunate task of ministering to two different families last year as they coped with the suicides of two young men. There was also the situation with Robin Williams that got worldwide attention so it has been a timely topic.
I looked up some stats this morning and they really floored me. I’d like to share just a few of them.
In 2013 (the most recent year for which full data are available), 41,149 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. In that year, someone in the country died by suicide every 12.8 minutes.
In 2013, the highest suicide rate (19.1) was among people 45 to 64 years old. The second highest rate (18.6) occurred in those 85 years and older. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2013, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 10.9.
After cancer and heart disease, suicide accounts for more years of life lost than any other cause of death.
HERE is another page filled with statistics. Here are some especially troubling ones:
Suicide takes the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans every year.
Over half of all suicides occur in adult men, ages 25-65.
For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
The highest suicide rate is among men over 85 years old: 65 per 100,000 persons.
1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. (homicide is 16th).
My heart is heavy as I think about these things. I pray that the God of Love, Grace, and Mercy touches those who are hurting and desperate. I pray that His people love those who feel unlovable.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline