Recently, the CDC released information about a recent study on suicidal ideation (suicidal thinking) in the U.S. in June, 2020. One in four young people 18 to 24 years of age reported having suicidal thoughts during this time period. The only group (unpaid caregivers for adults) reported a higher level of suicidal thinking.
The pandemic has added stress to many dimensions of life. If you were struggling to make a living on minimum wage before the threat of COVID-19, you are now doing it while likely risking your life to serve others. If you had a decent job before, it might have vanished with the shut downs. This study took place while the extra unemployment benefits and the eviction holds were still in place. Those thin protections are gone now. As people go hungry and lose their shelter, suicidal thinking is sure to increase.
If you are having suicidal thoughts that involve determining how you might kill yourself, it is time to call 911 or go to your nearest hospital for an evaluation and help. Cottonwood Springs, which has both inpatient and outpatient mental health programs, assesses people 24/7 and you may make an appointment or walk-in.
If someone you care about has been severely depressed but suddenly seems better, pay close attention. This is often a red flag, particularly if they have started giving possessions away. This type of situation often reflects the relief a person feels after resolving to act on their suicidal thinking rather than being evidence of an improvement in depression.
The following are resources if you are having thoughts of suicide:
National Suicide Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Military Veterans, press 1
En Espanol, press 2
Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-784-2433
LGBT Youth Suicide Hotline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR
National Suicide Lifeline Chat
Johnson County, Kansas Crisis Line 913-831-2550
Wyandotte County, Kansas Mental Health Crisis Line 913-788-4200
Missouri Mental Health Crisis Line (for Cass, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte, and Ray Counties): 1-888-279-8188
Here in the Kansas City area, depending on where you live, you have access to different resources for treatment: