This month, we share resources for suicide prevention and recovery from substance use.
SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH
Every September, we strive to bring attention to suicide prevention. We continue to exist in a mental health crisis, one that may be exacerbated by hardships of the ongoing pandemic, including for some loss of income and housing. Suicide continues to be a leading cause of death in the United States; over 44,800 individuals lost their lives to suicide last year. Suicide rates across all populations have held consistently high since 2016, peaking in 2018. While thankfully rates appeared to lower slightly over 2020 in spite of the pandemic, in part due to a surge in the use of mental health resources, this New York Times article highlights that suicide rates have risen among Black Americans in 2020.
We continue to feel it is vital to share resources for immediate safety and long-term support, both for those suffering from suicidal thoughts and their families:
NATIONAL RECOVERY MONTH
Addiction continues to be a national crisis as well, and has strongly increased in strength and numbers over the last year. Deaths due to addiction have increased, as well as a 59% increase in reports of alcohol abuse. While as listed above suicide rates lowered from 2020 by five percent, opioid overdose rates skyrocketed to their highest level since the 1990s, with communities of color increasingly impacted.
There has never been a more urgent time to break the cycle of addiction. If you are struggling with substance use and feel like you cannot stop, or are watching someone you care about struggle, we want you to know there is help, hope, and support. For those seeking support in their recovery, we wanted to highlight a list of major peer and professional support services that offer both in-person and remote connections, as well as other resources in support of national recovery month.
As always, please reach out to us here at the City of Boston Employee Assistance Program for immediate support and assistance. Be sure to check out our regularly updated COVID-19 Resource List as well.