Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Spotlight

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Learn More About Select Quarterly Observances

Each quarter, we highlight several observances and explain the significance of each. It's a great opportunity to learn more about the meaning behind the observances you know — or don't know. 


Removing the Stigma of Suicide

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, but there are steps to take all year round.

Suicide is a major public health concern and one that touches more people than you might think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a 30% increase in suicides between 2000 and 2018. 

These statistics from the CDC underscore the problem: 

  • One death by suicide occurs every 11 minutes.
  • It’s the second leading cause of death among individuals between ages 10-14 and 25-34.
  • It’s the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds.
  • It’s the twelfth leading cause of death overall in the United States. 

It affects people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are four times more likely to die by suicide. Transgender youth are especially at risk. LGBTQ youth are particularly at risk — they are four times more likely to attempt suicide. 

At the heart of suicide, is mental illness. Many also experience or have experienced other forms of violence such as bullying, child abuse and/or sexual assault. Be mindful that contributing factors such as alcohol and/or drug abuse, financial concerns and family issues can increase the risk of suicide. In any case, the individual is typically in major distress and doesn’t know how to cope under the circumstances.

Suicide attempts and suicide have serious impacts on all involved. The individual of a suicide attempt or suicide is not the only person affected. Family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and the community all suffer during this time experiencing anger, guilt of not being able to help, shock, depression and often thoughts of suicide themselves. Individuals that survive a suicide attempt often experience serious injuries, long-term health issues and deeper depression. 

It’s a tragic situation all around, but it is one that can often be prevented. And as because there is an increase in awareness and resources, prevention efforts have become more common and effective. As more people are trained and educated on the seriousness of suicide, the attempts and the mortality rate will likely decrease. In fact, research suggests that warning signs are normally displayed in many people who attempt suicide or complete suicide. These warning signs can be verbal and/or nonverbal cries for help. 

Listed below are some warning signs from the National Institute of Mental Health to be mindful of:   

Behavior Changes

  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Lacking concentration in work, school or daily activities
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Researching ways to die
  • Increasing drug and alcohol use
  • Taking unnecessary and dangerous risks
  • Giving away personal possessions

Verbal

  • Making comments about wanting to die
  • Expressing guilt or shame
  • Apologizing for a being a burden to others

Thoughts/Feelings

  • Being full of rage
  • Becoming easily agitated
  • Experiencing more anxiety and sadness
  • Dealing with unbearable emotional or physical pain

Family support, adequate health care and community resources are a major component in alleviating the pain and desire for such thoughts and acts. Another vital part of the equation is spreading awareness. Although suicide prevention needs to be an ongoing conversation, September is National Suicide Prevention Month. It’s a time to put forth even more effort to raise awareness and destigmatize it.

 If we all do our parts, collectively, we may make a difference in someone’s quality of life.

 Suggested Resources

 Need to talk? Or have concerns about someone you love? These resources offer free confidential assistance 24/7: 

  • National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255 
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741 or Text NAMI to 741-741 
  • The Trevor Project (specific help for the LGBTQ community): Visit thetrevorproject.org to chat, text or call a crisis counselor 
  • Veteran Crisis Line:
    1-800-273-8255 and Press 1
    Text 838255
    Online Chat: Chat (veteranscrisisline.net)
  • Beginning July 16, 2022 ― Dial 988 to reach National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

LeDonna C. Marine-Nichols, SHRM-CP
Office Administrator
Haynes and Boone, LLP

Select Quarterly Observances
July


July is French-American Heritage Month, which honors and recognizes the significant contributions made to the United States by people of French descent. 

 

July 1: Canada Day is a Canadian federal holiday that celebrates the 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act, which established the three former British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as a united nation called Canada. For more information, click HERE

July 4: Independence Day or Fourth of July is a United States federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The original 13 American colonies declared independence from Britain and established themselves as a new nation known as the United States of America. For more information, click HERE

July 9–11: Eid al-Adha — also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice — commemorates the story of the Muslim Prophet Ibrahim's test of faith when he was commanded by God to sacrifice his son, Ismail. Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha to mark the end of Hajj, the five-day pilgrimage Muslims undertake to cleanse the soul of sins and instill a sense of equality and brotherhood. For more information, click HERE


July 11: World Population Day is an observance established in 1989 by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme. The annual event is designed to raise awareness of global population issues. For more information, click HERE

July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day was launched on July 18, 2009, in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday via unanimous decision of the U.N. General Assembly. It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices: “It is in your hands now.” It is more than a celebration of Mandela’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to honor his life’s work and to change the world for the better. For more information, click HERE.

Pioneer Day is observed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to commemorate the arrival in 1847 of the first Latter-day Saint pioneers in Salt Lake Valley. For more information, click HERE

July 26: National Disability Independence Day celebrates the anniversary of the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. For more information, click HERE

August

August is National Civility Month that was founded to help the world remember to treat others the way we wish to be treated ourselves — with kindness, empathy and respect.  


August 7–8: Ashura is an Islamic holiday commemorating the day Noah left the ark and the day Allah saved Moses from the Egyptians. For more information, click HERE

August 11: Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu holiday commemorating the loving kinship between a brother and sister. “Raksha” means “protection” in Hindi and symbolizes the longing a sister has to be protected by her brother. During the celebration, a sister ties a string around her brother’s (or brother-figure’s) wrist and asks him to protect her. The brother usually gives the sister a gift and agrees to protect her for life. For more information, click HERE.

August 12: Hungry Ghost Festival (Zhongyuan Festival) is a Chinese holiday where street, market and temple ceremonies take place to honor dead ancestors and appease other spirits. For more information, click HERE.

August 17: Marcus Garvey Day celebrates the birthday of the Jamaican politician and activist who is revered by Rastafarians. Garvey is credited with starting the Back to Africa movement, which encouraged those of African descent to return to the land of their ancestors during and after slavery in North America. For more information, click HERE


August 21: National Senior Citizens Day was proclaimed a holiday by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 as a time to raise awareness to the issues that affect senior citizens and their quality of life. For more information, click HERE


August 26: Women's Equality Day commemorates the August 26, 1920, certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote. Congresswoman Bella Abzug (D-NY) first introduced a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day in 1971. Since that time, every president has published a proclamation recognizing August 26 as Women’s Equality Day. For more information, click HERE.

August 31: Ganesh Chaturthi a Hindu holiday lasting around 10 days, where the elephant-headed Hindu God is praised and given offerings. For more information, click HERE

September

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Mental health advocates — along with survivors and allies — unite to advocate and promote suicide prevention awareness.

September 15–October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15. This month corresponds with Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16, and recognizes the revolution in 1810 that ended Spanish dictatorship. For more information, click HERE.

September 5: Labor Day honors the contribution that laborers have made to the country and is observed on the first Monday of September. For more information, click HERE.

 

September 23: Native Americans’ Day is a federal holiday observed annually on the fourth Friday in September in the state of California and Nevada and on the second Monday in October in South Dakota and Oklahoma, United States. For more information, click HERE.

September 25–27 (sundown to sundown): Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, marking the creation of the world. For more information, click HERE.

September 26: European Day of Languages is celebrated across Europe to promote the importance of language learning and protecting linguistic heritage. It is important to recognize the rich linguistic diversity in Europe.