WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTHI) -- The CDC reported in 2018 that more than 48,000 Americans died by suicide. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause in Indiana. It's a grim statistic, but there are resources to help.
It's no surprise the pandemic has a lot of us feeling isolated, or anxious. This is exactly why the team of mercy has seen suicide rates increase.
Team of Mercy is a non-profit organization that helps people who have been affected by suicide. So far the organization has personally helped 51 families during this time. Team of Mercy is they help with funeral costs, bio-hazard clean up, counseling services, and much more.
The Executive Director said she believes there are two reasons why we're seeing an increase this year.
First, people are not getting the social interaction they need. Second, people are not seeking out the medical help they need.
She said if you mix that with being in isolation that's what's causing this uptick. Those are not the only reasons someone takes their life.
Crist said, "It's a build-up okay. So, nobody takes their life that is in the right mental state of mind right? Okay, if we were in the right state of mind, you know we're not going to be like ope it's a good day to take my life. That's not what happens. It's a pile-up kind of thing."
Team of Mercy said you can help bring this number down. Executive Director Christina Crist said there are many different ways you can help and ways you can seek help.
One way you can help is by reaching out to those close to you. She said, "So, just having those hard conversations. It's uncomfortable, it's uncomfortable. Those things that you feel uncomfortable saying, say it."
She said you should start off by asking short questions such as are you struggling are you thinking about taking your life. Crist said people are more likely to answer when the question is short.
But she said getting help is the most important thing you can do.
Crist said, "And there are people out there, not just Team of Mercy. We have wonderful resources in the Wabash Valley. Wonderful resources, people that are waiting, and willing to walk alongside people and not leave their side until they know they're okay."
Crist said when we start to speak up, we will be saving lives.
To reach Team of Mercy and learn all about the resources available you can click here.
You can also call the suicide hotline number. That number is 1-800-273-8255.