We Are Clueless in Combating Suicide


Catholic League President Bill Donohue (photo) submits the following and is available for comment:

The latest data show that a record number of Americans are committing suicide. Almost 50,000 killed themselves in 2022, up by 2.6 percent from the year before. We have a mental health crisis on our hands, but we are failing to address it properly.

A third of students have considered quitting in the last six months, citing mental health concerns. Among college students, two-thirds of bachelor's degree students who have considered pausing their studies mention personal mental health reasons, such as emotional stress.

So what are colleges doing about it? What is the government doing about it? We know what to do but we refuse to do it.

We have known for a long time that those who take their religion seriously are the least likely to suffer a mental health crisis. Conversely, the more secular the person is, the more likely he is to have such a problem. But given the prevailing anti-religious climate on campuses, and the proverbial government aversion to religion, those who are suffering are being ill-advised. If they are lucky, they're told to get a therapy dog.

Harvard School of Public Health reported in 2020 that women who attend weekly religious services are 68 percent less likely to die "deaths of despair"--suicide, drug overdose and alcohol poisoning--than others; men are 33 percent less likely.

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