September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that the rate of suicide in Maine, like the nation as a whole, has been increasing since 2006. On average, 257 Maine citizens die by suicide each year. The rate of suicide in Maine is highest of all northeastern states and 20% above the national rate. A Mainer is nine times more likely to die by suicide than from homicide.
Sept. 22 will be the annual Out of the Darkness Walk nationwide, designed to help give people the courage to open up about their own struggle or loss, and a platform to change our culture’s approach to mental health. In Machias, the walk will begin at 6 p.m. at the intersection of Kilton Lane and Main Street, and end at Bad Little Falls Park, where there will be a candlelight vigil. Participants also can opt to share their thoughts and reflect on their direct or indirect experiences with suicide.
For more information about this event or to request a reasonable accommodation, call 207.255.1343.
If concerned about yourself or if you know someone who is having thoughts of suicide, call AMHC Crisis Services, 1.888.568.1112 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1.800.273.8255; or text START to 741-741.