Amidst a tragic loss, an important reminder

The recent suicide of Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington has left many around the country and world mourning his loss. For some — particularly those who are having thoughts of suicide or have attempted suicide previously — this loss may be particularly difficult. As the conversation about Bennington’s death continues, it is critical that we remember and remind those around us that suicide doesn’t have to be the answer. Many people dealing with feelings of hopelessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide get support every day; and with treatment, go on to live healthy and productive lives.

I’ve devoted my life’s work to reaching the people who are suffering in silence, so that they can receive the support and care they need. That’s why the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale is so important. The questions on the C-SSRS can be asked by anyone, anywhere, to identify whether someone is at risk for suicide, the immediacy of that risk, and gauge the level of support that person needs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, more than 41,000 people took their lives in the U.S. That’s more than the number of people who die each year in car accidents. Suicide is an urgent public health issue, but it’s one that is preventable if we can identify those who are at most at risk of dying by suicide and direct them to the help they need.

My heart goes out to everyone who is coping with Bennington’s death, and I am reminded of the important work we have to do to create a world free of suicide. We all have a role to play, and the C-SSRS can help. Just ask. You can save a life.

Click here for more information about the C-SSRS

If you or someone you know is going through a tough time, please call 1-800-273-8255 for free, confidential support.