I recently learned that a person commits suicide about every 12.3 minutes in the United States. That’s 42,773 Americans a year. This is a staggering statistic.
It got me thinking about my last 25 years in the accounts receivable management industry. I can point to about a half a dozen examples of prominent leaders taking their own lives. I think about the families, the companies, the communities that were impacted by the loss. Perhaps if the individual realized all of the love and affection around him or her different decisions made have been made. Unfortunately mental anguish can severely distort one’s view on life and others may not notice until it is too late.
Experts say the best way to prevent suicide is through early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of depression and other mood disorders. We often don’t learn that someone is in need of help until it is too late. As executives in business – and as professionals within our community – we can do our part to build awareness about suicide prevention. Too many people at risk don’t seek help so we have to reach out to them.
My wife found out about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention last year, 26 years after tragedy struck her own family. The AFSP was started in 1987 by a small group of caring individuals who established a source of support for suicide research and education. These founding families – who have each lost someone to suicide – joined with scientists to create what is today the AFSP, a powerful advocate for mental health and suicide prevention.
In June, my wife and I are walking all night through New York City to help build awareness for this important cause. The support we have already received from our community is overwhelming. To learn more about this wonderful event ad read our story, please visit our page.
If you decide to make a financial contribution I assure you that it will go to a worthwhile cause. I encourage you to open up discussions within your own families, companies, and communities. Change starts with communication.