Ending Preventable Deaths
A premature death, or premature morality, occurs when a person dies before the expected age of 75. Many of these deaths are preventable("Premature Deaths"). Such causes may include suicide, distracted driving, drug overdoses, and abuse. This loss of life is typically measured by years of potential life loss (YPLL).
Between 2014 and 2016, Douglas County had lost 3,300 years of potential life. While Douglas County lost the least amount of life in Colorado, we can still do better("Colorado").
Suicide is a leader in causes of death. 90% of children and adolescence who die by suicide suffer from a mental illness("Mental Health"). Suicide is such a preventable death, and yet it's taking 44,965 Americans a year ("Suicide Statistics").
It is Sydney's goal to reduce suicide rates. To do so, she plans on making resources - such as suicide hotlines and emergency psychiatric care - more readily available. She also wants to better educate others in mental health and help de-stigmatize mental illness. If you visit Sydney's Facebook page, you'll see that the first post is a list of resources for struggling individuals. The safety of her community is far more important than her campaign.
About 9 people are killed everyday from distracted driving. Many of these people are under twenty years old ("Distracted Driving"). These individuals have so much to live for, and yet their lives are lost to distracted driving.
Again, education is vital in reducing distracted driving fatalities. By educating the youth and showing how accidents can lead to severe injury or death, individuals are more likely to pay attention when driving.
Overdosing from a substance is the number one cause of injury-related deaths in the United States. Recently, the number of deaths by overdosing on heroin has been increasing ("Drug-poisoning").
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, education is vital. Youth educational services should be provided to show how dangerous drugs can be. For those already addicted, support needs to be offered to help these individuals recover. Working with doctors in reducing the amount of addictive medications can also be effective in reducing deaths caused by overdosing.
One in every four women will be in a domestically violent relationship at some point in her life. This abuse can quickly lead to homicide ("Domestic Violence"). Unfortunately, many individuals in an abusive situation do not have the resources to escape.
By making resources more readily available in public places, individuals will have a greater chance of getting help. Educating students on the importance of healthy relationships can also decrease the number of abusive relationships.
“Colorado.” County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
“Distracted Driving.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 June 2017.
“Domestic Violence Facts: Colorado.” National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 4 Apr. 2018.
“Drug-Poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin: United States, 2000–2013.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 Mar. 2015.
“Mental Health by the Numbers.” NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“Premature Death.” County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
“Suicide Statistics.” AFSP, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.