National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.
Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.
Every year thousands of individuals die by suicide, leaving behind their friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of loss. In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called “suicide loss survivors”) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. We use this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention. NAMI is here to help.
These are only a few of the reasons why it’s important to take part in promoting Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Please use these facts and others to encourage discussions with your community through social media or other forms of outreach.
- 75% of all people who die by suicide are male.
- Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are nearly 4x more likely to die by suicide.
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the 4th leading cause of death for people 35-54.
- The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 31% since 2001 .
- 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition.
- While half of individuals who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental health condition, research shows that 90% experienced symptoms.
- In 2017, suicide was:
- the second leading cause of death for American Indian/Alaska Natives between the ages of 10-34.1
- the second leading cause of death for African Americans, ages 15-24.1
- the leading cause of death for Asian Americans, ages 15-24.1
- the second leading cause of death for Hispanic people in the U.S., ages 15-34.
- American Indian/Alaska Native adults die by suicide at a rate 20% higher than non-Hispanic white adults.
- Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.
- Transgender people are 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
- 10% of young adults say they experienced suicidal thoughts in the past year.
1CDC. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). [Accessed 08/02/2019]. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html
- Know the Warning Signs and Risk Factors of Suicide
- Being Prepared For a Crisis
- Navigating a Mental Health Crisis
- Five Action Steps For Communicating With Someone Who May Be Suicidal
- For Suicide Loss Survivors
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- SAMHSA Resources For Suicide Prevention
- Need more information, referrals or support? Contact the NAMI HelpLine.
- If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
- If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255). Press 1 if you are a veteran.
- If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.
- The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. The TrevorLifeline is a crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. TrevorText is available by texting “START” to 678678.
Related Blog Posts
- Suicide Prevention: Saving Lives Now and Beyond
- What Happens When Your Child’s School Reports Suicidal Ideation
- Promote Hope, Healing, and Help to Prevent Suicide
- We Need to Take Suicide Prevention More Seriously
- No One Should Be Blamed for Suicide
- Five Common Myths About Suicide Debunked
- How To Ask Someone About Suicide
Help promote awareness by sharing images and graphics on your website and social media accounts. Use #SuicidePrevention or #StigmaFree.
While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life.