With news breaking on CNN about the suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain, the suicide hotline number has been shared endlessly on social media over the past week. Although providing a resource like this can be helpful, it can be more meaningful for personal connections to reach out. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, or any other type of mental illness, please don't be afraid to seek help. Also, please check on your loved ones.

Suicide stats and definitions

According to the National Institution of Mental Health, (NIMH), one in five adults in the United States live with a mental illness.

All mental illnesses are recognized, and the severity of them can range from mild to severe. According to NIMH, "Any mental illness (AMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder." This type would be recognized as mild or moderate in the severity range. On the other hand, "Serious mental illness (SMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in a serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities." This subset is smaller, yet more severe and debilitating to those suffering.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention cites suicide as being the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. There is an average of 123 suicides per day.

According to AFSP, "men die by suicide 3.53 times more often than women."

Show support to depressed people

If you have any type of relationship with someone who struggles with a mental illness, show your support. Check in on them from time to time. It doesn't have to be obvious or serious, where all you do is ask if he or she is doing okay.

Ask what's new in their life. Find out what things they have to look forward to. It would be helpful to blatantly ask how someone is doing, but not everyone is comfortable talking about their problems. Do your best to show you're a shoulder to lean on and a source of support.

How to seek help for mental illness

If you're struggling with something, there are so many opportunities for you to seek help. Fortunately, there are helpline numbers for almost every issue. Medication and therapy are also options but unfortunately are not always affordable. There are people in this world that care about you. You are not a burden to them. Please reach out to them. Ask for help, ask them to spend time with you, or just ask them what they've been up to. The least you can do for yourself is some type of self-care. This could be as minimal as painting your nails, listening to your favorite CD, or going to bed early. Do what you need to do for your mental health.

U.S. helplines

Here is a list of hotlines to call as noted by Psyche Central.

  • Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433NDMDA
  • Depression Hotline – Support Group: 800-826-3632
  • Suicide Prevention Services Crisis Hotline: 800-784-2433
  • Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline: 630-482-9696
  • Child Abuse Hotline – Support & Information: 800-422-4453
  • Crisis Help Line – For Any Kind of Crisis: 800-233-4357
  • Domestic & Teen Dating Violence (English & Spanish): 800-992-2600
  • Parental Stress Hotline – Help for Parents: 800-632-8188
  • Runaway Hotline (All Calls are Confidential): 800-231-6946
  • Sexual Assault Hotline (24/7, English & Spanish): 800-223-5001
  • Suicide & Depression Hotline – Covenant House: 800-999-9999
  • National Child Abuse Hotline: 800-422-4453
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline (TDD): 800-787-3224
  • National Youth Crisis Hotline: 800-448-4663
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