September is 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.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is a time to raise awareness on this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. In addition to shifting public perception, we use September to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide.

Important Dates:

  • September 5-11: Suicide Prevention Awareness Week
  • September 10: World Suicide Prevention Day
  • 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.

Fast Facts

Individual Impact:
  • 78% 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 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.
  • The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35% since 1999 .
  • 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition.
  • While nearly half of individuals who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental health condition, research shows that 90% experienced symptoms.
Community Impact:
  • Annual prevalence of serious thoughts of suicide, by U.S. demographic group:
    • 4.8% of all adults
    • 11.8% of young adults aged 18-25
    • 18.8% of high school students
    • 46.8% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students
  • Some of the highest rates of suicide in the U.S. are among American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic white communities.
  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.
  • Transgender people are 12x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for people held in local jails.