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Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts.


Understanding Depression

Depression is part of the human condition. Nearly one in 15 American adults will experience depression in a given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life.

Common symptoms of depression include (present consistently for the past two weeks or longer):

  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Low mood
  • Impaired sleep
  • Change of appetite 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Drop in self-esteem
  • Change in level of physical activity

The most consequential symptom is suicidal thoughts. An individual feels so hopeless that they begin thinking of taking their own life. 


Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older (18.1%) each year.

Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.

Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Excessive worry more days than not for at least six months
  • Difficulty controlling worries
  • Distress or impair in social, occupational of other important areas of functioning
  • Feeling restless
  • Fatigue or frequently feeling tired
  • Difficultly concentrating
  • Irritability


Understanding Suicide

Suicide is death caused by injuring oneself with the intent to die. A suicide attempt is when someone harms themselves with intent to end their life but they do not die as a result of their actions.

Suicide is a serious health public health problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. There were 45,979 deaths in 2020—about one death every 11 minutes.
  • The number of people who think about or attempt suicide is higher. In 2020, an estimated 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide—3.2 million planned a suicide attempt and 1.2 million attempted suicide.
  • Suicide affects all ages. In 2020, suicide was among the top nine leading causes of death for people ages 10-64. Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34.

"Suicide has become a real epidemic in the United States with over 130 suicides per day," said Catholic Health Chief of Behavioral Health Dr. Ronald Brenner. "The increase in very young people committing suicide has been of particular concern."

But suicide is preventable.


Getting Help

Suicidal attempts and suicide affect everyone. The person who feels alone in their pain. The family members and loved ones who may not know to help. Those who are left behind and feel guilt, anger and sadness.

Remember: you are not alone and there are resources to get help. 

1. Call 988. Available as of July 16, 2022, 988 connects the public to mental health crisis counselors who are part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. Learn more about 988.

2. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. This free and confidential lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

3. New York State Crisis Text Line. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Text GOT5 to 741741. Or, Got5U to 741741 if you are a college student.

4. If you or a loved one is feeling depressed, make an appointment with a trained professional to talk about the treatment options available. Support is a key step toward treating depression and anxiety before it escalates to suicidal thoughts. Call your primary care physician who can refer you to a specialist.


Call (866) MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362) to find a Catholic Health physician near you.

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