The pennant flags flying over our front lawn are part of the Suicide Awareness and Prevention Project of the Gun Violence Committee here at YFM.
Suicide is a significant public health issue in the U.S. & around the world – in the U.S. we lose, on average, 129 people per day to suicide – that added up to 47,173 individuals in 2017. or one person dying by suicide every 11 minutes.
The rate of suicide has increased by 30% since 1999.
In our display we have flags to represent those lost to suicide in Bucks County in the past 5 years and those we will lose in the next 5 years if we aren’t able to stop the trend.
Since this display is sponsored is an important factor in whether they live or die. by the Gun Violence Prevention Committee – we want to bring attention to how big of a role guns play in suicide. About half of all the deaths by suicide in our country and in Bucks County occur as a result of a self-inflicted gun wound.
The purple flags represent those who have/will die using a gun
The white flags represent those who have/will die by all other methods of suicide.
The method of suicide an individual chooses is an important factor in whether they live or die. This focus of helping to reduce access to the most lethal means of suicide is called Means Matter.
People who own guns are no more likely to be suicidal than other people and they are no more likely to attempt suicide – however when they do struggle with suicidal thoughts and choose to make an attempt, they more likely to die because they are likely to use their gun. If someone you know is suicidal, ask if they own a gun, and if they do, convince them to let someone else hold onto to their gun until they are no longer struggling.
You may very well save their life!
The Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health has a vast amount of information on the subject of Means Matter Campaign including helping mental health professionals, family members and communities:
Or keep reading below for more information on suicide and suicide prevention . . .