According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
Local health officials say contrary to popular belief, suicide rates spike in the springtime and not in the winter.
“There’s not that definitive reason as to why it’s higher, we just do see that spike typically on the spring and in the fall,” said Chelsie Smith, public health nurse at the Eau Claire City-County Health Department. “We have big life changes typically in the spring and in the fall.”
She says suicide is rarely caused by a single factor.
“Suicide prevention is everybody’s business,” said Smith. “Four out of 5 people show signs.”
According to the CDC, suicide takes the lives of over 44,000 Americans every year.
Smith said there are different behavioral clues and situational clues that a person might exhibit.
She said some signs include verbal clues, isolation, and decreased emotion.
She said being direct with a person you are worried about may be a good start.
“Mental illness is still a taboo topic,” said Smith. “We are sometimes afraid we’re going to say the wrong thing.”
Smith said if you have a question, you should always ask somebody how they’re feeling and if they are thinking about harming themselves.
If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.