Suicide prevention month


Last updated 9/8/2021 at 10:16am | View PDF

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health is an important way to take part in suicide prevention, help others in crisis, and change the conversation around suicide.

The Lifeline suggests several steps in understanding the topic:

Hope Can Happen – Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can prevent suicides and save lives.

We Can All Take Action - Evidence shows that providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm, and following up with loved ones are just some of the actions we can all take to help others.

Crisis Centers are Critical - By offering immediate counseling to everyone that may need it, local crisis centers provide invaluable support at critical times and connect individuals to local services.

Know the Risk Factors

Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide, according to the Lifeline. They can't cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they're important to be aware of.

Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders

Alcohol and other substance use disorders


Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies

History of trauma or abuse

Major physical illnesses

Previous suicide attempt(s)

Family history of suicide

Job or financial loss

Loss of relationship(s)

Easy access to lethal means

Local clusters of suicide

Lack of social support and sense of isolation

Stigma associated with asking for help

Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment

Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma

Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

Know the Warning Signs

Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help by calling the Lifeline.

Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves

Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun

Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live

Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain

Talking about being a burden to others

Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly

Sleeping too little or too much

Withdrawing or isolating themselves

Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

Extreme mood swings

Call the Lifeline Anytime 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit to chat with someone online. The site features numerous stories of recovery from real people.

About National Suicide Prevention Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. All month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness.

National Suicide Prevention Week is the Monday through Sunday surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day. It's a time to share resources and stories, as well as promote suicide prevention awareness.

World Suicide Prevention Day is Sept. 10. It's a time to remember those affected by suicide, to raise awareness, and to focus efforts on directing treatment to those who need it most.


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