Suicide: How We Can Help


Suicide is one of the most tragic elements of human existence. The causes are too numerous to count and a "one size fits all" solution is not possible.
But three things that I believe can HELP are purpose, mentoring and virtue ... and these are the strengths of SportsLeader and coaching.
1. Purpose - the motto of your team, the goals (daily, weekly, season), the speeches ... all speak to THE PURPOSE of your team and the PURPOSE of each individual on that team. Reason and passion for being-living.
2. Mentoring - talking to a player, listening, understanding, showing that you care, helping them improve and focus.
3. Virtue - interior strength, positive qualities that make you a better person, traits that help you serve others around you.
Of the statistics below, the one that surprised me the most was the age group with the highest rate of suicide: Men ages 45-54.
That age group is where a lot of us on this email list fall - male coaches between the ages of 45-54.
Let's all take this seriously. There are true LIVES depending on us. If we can give purpose, mentoring and virtue to every one of our fellow coaches and players, we will help lower these horrific numbers described in more detail below.
Virtue = Strength,
Lou Judd

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From 1993 - 2009 there have been between 29,199 and 36,909 suicides every year.
Every 14.2 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide. Think about that - during a typical 2-hour practice, 8 people commit suicide.
In 2009: 36,909 total suicides
29,089 men
7,820 women
Age Group       Number of Suicides    Population          Rate
5-14                        265                          40,583,198          0.7
15-24                     4,371                       43,077,396         10.1
25-34                     5,320                       41,566,322         12.8
35-44                     6,677                       41,529,956         16.1
45-54                     8,598                       44,592,483         19.3
55-64                     5,808                       34,786,949         16.7
65-74                     2,917                       20,792,067         14.0
75-84                     2,063                       13,147,862         15.7
85+                         878                            5,630,661         15.6
Suicide is the cause of more deaths than car crashes, according to an alarming new study.
The number of people who commit suicide in the U.S. has drastically increased while deaths from car accidents have dropped, making suicide the leading cause of injury death.
The results were compiled using National Center for Health Statistics data gathered from 2000 to 2009. 
Army suicides hit a new single-month record in July, when 38 active-duty and reserve soldiers took their own lives, according to official figures released Thursday.
The toll, up from 24 in June, prompted a wave of renewed anger and frustration among Pentagon leaders and veterans advocates. Army officials said 187 active-duty and reserve soldiers have committed suicide so far in 2012. Last year’s total was 283.
Gen. Lloyd Austin, the Army’s current vice chief, said the military is focused on trying to reduce the stigma associated with asking for help and address the mental health issues facing U.S. troops after more than a decade of war.
“Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army,” Austin said. “And, it’s an enemy that’s killing not just soldiers, but tens of thousands of Americans every year.”
“That said, I do believe suicide is preventable,” he said. “To combat it effectively will require sophisticated solutions aimed at helping individuals to build resiliency and strengthen their life coping skills. As we prepare for Suicide Prevention Month in September, we also recognize that we must continue to address the stigma associated with behavioral health. Ultimately, we want the mind-set across our force and society at large to be that behavioral health is a routine part of what we do and who we are as we strive to maintain our own physical and mental wellness.”