(Camden, NJ) – On Thursday, the Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution recognizing Suicide Awareness Month in the month of September and declaring September 22 as Veteran Suicide Awareness and Remembrance Day in Camden County.
“Suicide is something that too many people are impacted by in our country, especially among the veteran community,” Commissioner Melinda Kane. “By recognizing these two incredibly important initiatives we can raise awareness about the critical threat that suicide poses to our communities and work together to prevent another tragedy.”
In honor of Suicide Prevention Month, several buildings in downtown Camden are lit purple this week to remember those lost to suicide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2022 alone, more than 49,000 Americans lost their lives to suicide, a 2.6% increase from 2021. In 2020, the most recent data available, more than 6,000 veterans committed suicide, making it the 13th leading cause of death among veterans overall, and it was the second leading cause of death among veterans under age 45.
The CDC identifies several prominent warning signs for someone at risk of suicide, including:
- Expressing hopelessness
- Threatening to hurt oneself or talking about wanting to die
- Increasing alcohol and drug use
- Withdrawing from friends and family
The Commissioner Board is reminding Camden County residents that help is never out of reach. On July 16, 2022, the U.S. successfully transitioned to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The easy-to-remember number to reach trained crisis counselors for help with suicide, mental health and substance use-related crises.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, or exhibiting warning signs of suicide, dial 988 or visit 988lifeline.org.
The Camden County Office of Mental Health and Addiction hosts informational events throughout the year on suicide prevention and risk reduction that are free and open to the public. For information on when the next event is being held or for other mental health and substance abuse related information, contact the office at (856) 374-6361.