Reidenberg understands the complexities of suicides, pointing out there are nearly always multiple causes, including mental illnesses, substance abuse, a life change such as a job loss or a break up. Outside of the USA, please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources. "People are going to get help", Reidenberg said.
Despite an increased awareness and more help available than ever before, there is still a stigma attached to reaching out for help.
"We found that many common life stressors were present in the period preceding the suicide, in relationship problems, financial and job issues, physical health concerns", said Dr. Anne Shuchat, deputy director with the Centers for Disease Control.
Deaths by suicide have increased by around 30% since 1999, claiming almost 45,000 lives in 2016, according to the report. The CDC also says that more than half of those who died by suicide were not diagnosed with a mental health condition.
"It's that personal connection to another person that may make the difference".
But intervention and treatment is possible for all vulnerable individuals: The CDC published a 62-page "Technical Package" that details multiple strategies to reduce the risk of suicide.
"He taught all of us how to be an American overseas, how to travel, explore, how to experience the world", said Cullen. "So that's where educating and bringing about awareness is how we save lives". The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has more information on risk factors and warning signs.
"We want people to know they can talk to us and we can help them find healthy alternatives", he said.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.