BANGOR – Bangor city councilors proclaimed this week National Suicide Prevention Week, with Tuesday being Suicide Prevention Day.
“What meant a lot to me about being able to read the proclamation and talk at council is that I shared I’m a suicide attempt survivor,” said Bangor city councilor, Clare Davitt. “I’ve actually attempted twice in my life.”
Per the proclamation, with 274 reported suicides happening in Maine in 2017, the state ranks above the national average.
Suicide is also listed as the second leading cause of death in those under 25.
“The average age right now is 10 or 11 that kids are killing themselves at, which is obviously horrifying,” Davitt said. “Obviously it touches all groups of the population, but the first time I attempted, I was 13.”
Resources are out there for those struggling or looking to support loved ones the best they can.
“NAMI Bangor, a local affiliate, that affiliate provides support groups,” said Jenna Mehnert, the executive director of NAMI Maine. “Also, you know, connecting with a crisis agency, which is a statewide crisis number if anyone felt they were in any immediate risk of suicide.”
It’s also important to know how to communicate with people who may be considering suicide.
“When you’re talking to someone about it…being clear…saying are you thinking of hurting yourself? Are you thinking of killing yourself?” Davitt said. “It isn’t going to put the idea in someones head. It can actually be a relief to have someone say it to you without judgment.”
The number for the NAMI crisis line is 207-622-5767.
More resources can be found on their website.