Friday Facts on Sunday – Oops

Did You Know?

  1. Suicide is an epidemic that takes over 800,000 lives globally every year.
  2. In the United States alone there are one million suicide attempts and over 40,000 deaths by suicide every year, more than double the number of lives lost to homicide.
  3. Our United States Military is devastatingly impacted with 22 Veterans dying everyday by suicide, and that is an understatement.
  4. Research has shown that for every one suicide death, over 115 people are directly, and secondarily  effected and the financial cost of suicide in the US is estimated to be over 40 billion dollars annually.
  5. Suicide is global public health crisis that is not receiving the attention it deserves and therefore millions continue to die and the ripple effects of these deaths continue to devastate parents, children, families, friends and communities.
  6. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
  7. Americans are far more likely to kill themselves than each other.
  8. In 2012, nearly two-thirds of all firearm deaths were by suicide, and the number is rising.
  9. Of all those who attempt suicide, 9% die; of those who attempt suicide with a gun, 85% die. 

Of course, there has been a lot of discussions about gun violence due the many mass shootings we have had in our country. However, not one of the discussions I heard EVER talked about the number of deaths by suicide caused by fire arms.

Where is the dialogue about the many lives lost to suicide by guns?

Guns are permanent. When people are suicidal and have access to a gun, there is no turning back. They cannot change their mind. There is no time for someone to find them before it is too late, because it is instantly too late after the gun is fired. Most people do not survive a self-inflicted gun shot and if they do, the damage from the gun is horrific.

Many people who attempt suicide change their mind. Kevin Hines jumped off the Golden Gate bridge during a suicide attempt and decided immediately after jumping he did not want to die. He survived by the grace of God. Kevin is the author of the book titled, “Cracked Not Broken.” I read that book in one day. It is one of my favorites and I would highly recommend it. I was also fortunate to see Kevin Hines speak. He is an excellent speaker and his message is very inspirational and powerful.

How many more people change their minds in the middle of a suicide attempt, but do not survive? We will never know the answer to that question.

Many overdose suicide attempt survivors, change their mind because they really do not want to die. They just want to end their pain. They get scared and call 911 or ask someone else for help. Many people wrongly accuse the suicide attempt survivor of seeking attention, which is very inaccurate and an unfair assumption.

I overdosed numerous times and got scared and changed my mind, so I called 911 myself. My last suicide attempt was the scariest for me because I believe I reached a psychotic break. I was so far gone and removed from myself that it was very scary and my actions didn’t seem like my own. I could have done anything. If I had access to a gun, I would not be here. I am blessed to not ever have had access to a gun.

The point is that guns are permanent. Suicide by guns needs to be added to the statistics when speaking of the dangers of gun and gun violence.

Also, when speaking about gun violence and mass shootings we need to discuss that not everyone with mental illness is violent and will go on a mass shooting spree. In fact:

  • Most persons with serious mental illness are never violent.  However, small subgroups of persons with serious mental illness are at increased risk of violence during certain high-risk periods, such as during a first-episode of psychosis and the period surrounding inpatient psychiatric hospitalization.

  • People with serious mental illness are rarely violent. Only 3 to 5 percent of all violence, including but not limited to firearm violence, is attributable to serious mental illness.  The large majority of gun violence toward others is not caused by mental illness.

  • People with serious mental illness are far more likely to be victims of violence, including but not limited to firearm violence, than the perpetrators of violent acts.

  • Rates of violent crime victimization are 12 times higher among the population of persons with serious mental illness than among the overall U.S. population. ~American Mental Health Counselors Association © 2018 All rights reserved 

Just because someone with purple hair stole a doughnut does not mean everyone with purple hair steals doughnuts. You get the idea. It is absurd and it is absurd to generalize that all people with mental illness will be violent.

Please change the gun laws and get rid of the AR-15s, the weapons of  mass destruction.

Suicide has always been a taboo way to die and access to a gun facilitates it.

The human cost of our silence is too great; so let’s talk about it.

Let’s talk about mental health, mental illness, suicide and guns. 

Please watch this powerful and inspirational video by Kevin Hines.


Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | | All Rights Reserved


  1. Violence and mental illness – © 2018 American Mental Health Counselors Association  All rights reserved 


  1. This is so true. The media talk about the risk of a mentally ill person with a gun shooting other people, when the risk of that is almost infinitesimal compared to the risk of a mentally ill person with a gun shooting themselves as a suicide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so happy it touched you and made you feel. I hope they were happy tears or tears that just mean you were moved in a favorable way. This man is amazing. His story and his delivery is always powerful. I would suggest reading his book. It was one of the best I ever read and is very inspirational. I am sorry to make you cry but I feel like it is always good to feel deeply. Like you said it struck you or touched you in some way. The key is to figure out how and why it impacted you so much. I hope you find it out. Maybe it is because he is a survivor and so are you. You can make it just like he did and is continuing to do. Maybe it touched you because you know there is hope and you are going to make it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. First, let me thank you for your post, this one definitely touched something as they were mixed tears of hope and sadness as well. I think your assessment as why it touched me is spot on. Thank you again Sue.

        Liked by 1 person

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