These 5 Groups Need Suicide Prevention Support

People of all backgrounds can struggle with suicidal thoughts. But certain groups are especially vulnerable.

In honor of Suicide Prevention Week, here are five demographics who are at high risk of suicide and how to help them.

1. Military Veterans

Veteran suicide has been called an epidemic. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an average of 20 veterans kill themselves every day.

As Care2‘s Steve Williams notes, we need to invest in programs that tackle the problem from a cultural perspective. Many vets have experienced violence and isolation, but a culture prizing strength — as well as society’s stigma of mental illness — can prevent veterans from seeking help. 

Consider giving your time or money to organizations like Mission 22. If you want to help a veteran you know or need support yourself, contact the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 1-800-273-8255 or texting 838255.

2. Veterinarians

One in 6 veterinarians at least considers suicide. As Susan Bird writes on Care2, vets kill themselves at twice the rate of dentists and doctors.

Isolated work, long hours and compassion fatigue are just a few factors that can lead to a decline in mental health.

You can help by simply being considerate of your vet. And if you’re a vet, make time for rest and activities outside of animal care. The group Not One More Vet offers an online platform for vets to discuss their struggles.

3. LGBTQ+ People

LGBTQ+ people, particularly bisexual and transgender individuals, are at high risk of suicide. Those at the Crisis Text Line – full disclosure, I volunteer there — estimate 40 percent of texters they counsel identify as LGBTQ+.

Groups like Trevor Project and the It Gets Better Project work to counter these numbers. Think about supporting these organizations, as well as anti-bullying and anti-discrimination laws, if you want to help.

4. Older Adults

According to Mental Health America, 45- to 65-year-olds commit suicide at the highest rate of any age group. People 85 and older were second most likely. Overall, older white men are most susceptible to suicide.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a useful toolkit that can help you prevent suicide among your aging loved ones. Keep in mind that Medicare covers a number of mental health services, as well.

5. Native Americans

Young Native Americans commit suicide at nearly double the national rate — more than any other ethnicity. And these numbers may be on the low end, as deaths often go unreported.

Groups like Native Cry, which released the public service announcement above, work to empower members of Native communities to keep living.

If you’re thinking about killing yourself, or know someone who is, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Photo Credit: Fort Rucker/Flickr

48 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Mike R
Mike Rabout a year ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike Rabout a year ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike Rabout a year ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike Rabout a year ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike Rabout a year ago

Thanks

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heather g
heather gabout a year ago

People who have been involved in fighting a war and killing people naturally have to deal with all their nightmares when they come home. The enormity of their actions only hits them then.

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Regus S
Regus Slanteiabout a year ago

"People of all backgrounds can struggle with suicidal thoughts. But certain groups are especially vulnerable."

Well then, think about the vulnerability of that small group of Trump voters who might have two or three stray brain cells left in their skulls, when those brain cells somehow come together to initiate true thought and the people then realize the horrific consequences of what they voted for!

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Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a year ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a year ago

Noted.

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