Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

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.

Informational Resources

Crisis Resources

  • 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 Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
  • 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.

Awareness Resources

During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we will provide images and graphics you can use on your website and social media accounts. Use #Suicide Prevention 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.

Fast Facts

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, including the “It’s Okay to Talk About Suicide” infographics on our website, to encourage discussions with your community through social media or other forms of outreach.

Individual Impact: 

  • 78% of all people who die by suicide are male.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the 4th leading cause of death for people 35-541
  • 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: 

  • 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 nearly 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.  
  • 11.8% of young adults aged 18-25 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