September calls for the beginning of fall, the leaves are changing color, the air is crisp, but not many know it’s also Suicide Awareness Month.
The stigma ends here.
Suicide Awareness Month began in 2008. According to the CDC, over 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving their family, friends, pets and other loved ones behind. Since the beginning of Suicide Awareness Month, organizations and mental health services have sought the best help for a person struggling with dark thoughts to overcome their trials.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. Just under 46,000 died by suicide in 2020— and there were over 1.2 million attempts.
The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men. They also accounted for almost 70% of suicide deaths in 2020.
The good news is 93% of Americans believe suicide can be prevented.
How can we help those who are struggling?
Get involved in organizations that focus on improving the community’s mental health.
Morgan’s Message is an organization that was started after the 2019 death of Morgan Rodgers, who was only 22 at the time. She attended Duke University, where she majored in Psychology and played Lacrosse for almost 4 years. After a terrible knee injury, she spent a whole year in recovery, which was a significant cause of her anxiety and depression. Around friends and family, she was always smiling and cheery, but she was truly suffering in silence and fought alone.
To honor her life, her parents, Kurt and Dona Rodgers, and twin sister, Aberle, vowed to celebrate her life and help end the mental health stigma, especially in the athletics community.
As of August 31, Morgan’s Message has over 1,530 ambassadors on 674 High School and College Campuses nationwide. To get involved in a local chapter or to start your own, please visit https://morgansmessage.org/education-program.
“I want athletes to understand that it is not only okay but strong to seek professional help during mental challenges the same way we see a doctor to check a high ankle sprain,” said Andrew Delaney, Senior on the Men’s Basketball Team at Adelphi and Senior Ambassador of Adelphi Morgan’s Message. “My goal is to continue to promote an educated culture on campus and build mental health resources that are specific to student-athletes and the lifestyle we experience.”
If you know someone who is struggling or in need of help, know that it is available. Call or text 988 or use the online chat 988lifeline.org. If you need counseling right away, text 741741.
Help is there. You are not alone.