My daughter introduced me to a bright young Black Man several years ago. They both
attended Eastern Kentucky University. She introduced us because he had expressed an interest in becoming an Alpha Man. I enthusiastically met the young man and found him to be bright, articulate, and highly industrious. When he found out that I needed a storage shed removed from my property, he took on the job with vigor. He single-handedly tore down a wooden storage shed in about 4 hours, which I thought would have taken at least two people to do in a day.
After I paid him, we talked about where he wanted to go in life, and I was so impressed with him that I offered to do all in my power to help him achieve his goals and ambitions. We spoke by phone a few times over the course of a few months.
Then, it happened. My daughter called me to tell me that this young man of such promise had taken his own life. She told me that he had reached out to a friend who was not available to talk with him just an hour or so before his death.
I was stunned, saddened, and convicted that this young man, a bright light, was gone. It’s in those moments that we ask, “what could I have done,” were there signs that I missed,” “could we have saved his life?” I don’t know, but I understand that it should never happen again and that we should equip ourselves with every tool and skill to help our family, friends, and community to end death by suicide.
Why QPR Training for Suicide Intervention
According to the CDC,
Suicide rates increased approximately 36% between 2000–2021. Suicide was responsible for 48,183 deaths in 2021, which is about one death every 11 minutes.3 The number of people who think about or attempt suicide is even higher. In 2021, an estimated 12.3 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.5 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.7 million attempted suicide.4
Suicide affects people of all ages. In 2021, suicide was among the top 9 leading causes of death for people ages 10-64. Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 20-34.3
Some groups have higher suicide rates than others. Suicide rates vary by race/ethnicity, age, and other factors, such as where someone lives. By race/ethnicity, the groups with the highest rates are non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native people followed by non-Hispanic White people.3 Other Americans with higher-than-average rates of suicide are veterans, people who live in rural areas, and workers in certain industries and occupations like mining and construction.5,6 Young people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual have higher prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behavior compared to their peers who identify as heterosexual.7
Read more about these suicide disparities and why they exist on this page.