National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2020
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, an important time to share critical resources and talk about difficult experiences and emotions in an effort to help others better understand and prevent suicide, as well as cope with losses that have already occurred.
Every year, thousands of people die by suicide, and when they do they leave behind friends and family members who have to cope with the enormity of their loss. All too often, these friends and families are left in a troubling position, with feelings of shame and social stigma preventing them from talking openly about their loss and learning how to move on – and that’s one of the reasons National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month was created.
Suicidal thoughts, like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender or socio-economic background, and they’re often the result of an untreated or undiagnosed mental health condition. However, while suicidal thoughts and ideas may be common, they should never be discounted as normal and are often signs of more serious issues that need to be identified and treated.
Some quick facts on suicide in the United States from the CDC:
• The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 31% since 2001.
• Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are nearly 4 times more likely to die by suicide, accounting for 75% of all suicide deaths.
• Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the fourth leading cause of death for people 35-54.
• 46% of those who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental health condition.
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
If you are or someone you know is experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255) to speak with a qualified counselor.
Can you take legal action when a loved one commits suicide?
Although suicide affects everyone who touched that person’s life, the law only grants certain people the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit resulting from suicide – and usually only in cases involving negligence or in which the person was entitled to a certain duty of care.
This is especially relevant when you consider that inpatient suicides in hospitals and mental health facilities account for about 6% of suicides in the U.S. every year. Therapist, doctors, counselors, and other mental health professionals have a duty to evaluate a patient’s mental health and provide for their safety, and when they don’t, they may be held liable for their breach of duty and/or negligence.
Other examples of the types of wrongful death claims involving suicide include:
Victims of violent crime
Violent attacks can have severe emotional impacts on survivors. If a distraught victim of violence commits suicide, the perpetrator(s) may be held liable by the spouse or family of the deceased.
Sexual abuse/assault survivors
The intense trauma experienced by victims of sexual abuse and assault can lead to depression and suicide. And like violent assaults, the victim’s family may have a legal claim for wrongful death against the perpetrator(s).
Defective or dangerous pharmaceuticals
Certain medications may increase a person’s risk of depression and suicide. And in some circumstances, drug companies can be held liable if adequate testing isn’t done, or if sufficient warnings regarding these potential side effects aren’t properly disclosed.
Institutions like mental hospitals, county jails and prisons also owe a duty of care when they have reason to believe that someone in their custody is suicidal, and if they fail to take adequate action, they may be found liable for that person’s death.
We want to help families and other loved ones dealing with suicide.
At GreeningLaw P.C., we understand that dealing with the death of a spouse, family member, or other loved one as a result of suicide is a heart-wrenching experience. If you’ve lost someone you love to suicide, especially one that could have been prevented, call us and speak to one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys.
We’re one of the most recognized personal injury law firms in Texas because we know how to make sure you are properly compensated for your suffering. Our experienced attorneys care about our clients and their outcomes, and that’s why we treat every case with the same respect and thoroughness we would our own families.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll review all the elements of your case, discuss any possible compensation you may receive, and suggest the best course of action. And because we work on a contingency basis, you don’t pay for anything unless you are compensated for your case.
We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal.