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We Must Stem the Rising Tide of Suicide in America

Picture of a sad womanThis past week came the shocking news of the apparent Suicide deaths of popular designer Kate Spade and award-winning chef and journalist Anthony Bourdain. Both of them were successful and beloved by many. Needless to say, because of these high-profile victims, we have been talking more about the increasing problem of suicide in America this past week.

The said truth is that for every Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain who commit suicide, there are hundreds of everyday, relatively unknown people who do or attempt the same.

According to the CDC, suicide rates have been rising in nearly every state. In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide. Suicide in America is the 10th leading cause of death. It is one of just three leading causes that are currently on the rise.

Suicide is complicated and is rarely caused by a single factor. CDC Researchers found that more than half of the people who died by suicide did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Relationship problems or loss, substance misuse; physical health problems; and job, money, legal or housing stress often contributed to the risk for suicide. 

After over 35 years of preaching and pastoring, I have become convinced that we are all just people who are subject to Experiencing Personal Struggles in life. Success in life, extreme wealth, corporate power or nothing else can render us off limits to suicide or the other countless ills or trials in our world. We may have been born on different sides of the track. Some may have graduated from Ivy League schools while some may have gotten their high school diploma in prison. When you get beyond the facades, however, we are all just people who are subject to experiencing personal struggles in life.

We all bleed when cut. We all feel hurt when the pain is bad enough. We can all find ourselves in a place in life we never imagined that we would.

I have also become convinced that we all are people who need God. It does not matter if you are the President of the United States or a janitor at the local motel. We all need God. Why? Because not only are we physical beings but also we are spiritual beings. Our faith in God, for instance, is vital in helping us get through difficult times in our life. It is the means by which we reach out to God and trust that doing so will make a difference. “For he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Our increasing problem with suicide in America is a many complicated thing. Some of us will never understand how someone can take his or her own life. I thank God for those in the medical profession who devote themselves to helping stem the tide of this complicated and rising problem.

I believe there is an important message in the recent and tragic deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain: It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, or what you have accomplished. Everyone of us is subject to experiencing personal struggles in our in life.

Copyright © 2018 by Frank King. All rights reserved.

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