September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, represented by turquoise and purple ribbons. Nearly 46,000 people died by suicide in 2020, making it the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S.

The subject of suicide and discussion of it draws wide differences of opinion among mental health experts and laypersons. For some, it’s a topic to talk about in the open, to acknowledge the growing numbers of attempts – particularly among teens – to effectively address and engage in prevention. For others, the subject is virtually taboo, one to avoid discussing.

The 2020 numbers are hard to ignore. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth ages 10-14 and the third leading cause of death among people ages 15-24 in the United States. Overall, suicide claimed the lives of nearly 46,000 people in 2020, making it the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S. 

Addressing crisis head-on is best approach, according to mental health experts.

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