Posted on October 22, 2019
The question, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” feels rather unsettling. A few months ago, I became a Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) instructor with 13 of my colleagues in the state of Delaware. We practiced asking our peers this challenging question and it didn’t get any easier each additional time we said it out loud. In 2017, more than 47,000 people in the U.S. died by suicide, making it one of the leading causes of death. There were more than twice as many suicides that year as there were homicides. The more that we empower the people in our community to get trained in YMHFA and learn how to speak to someone struggling with suicidal thoughts, the more likely the number of suicides will start to decrease.