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

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.

How to Engage Online with You Are Not Alone

NAMI.org Personal Stories  

Throughout the month of September, we will feature personal stories about how suicidal ideation/behaviors or suicide prevention have affected people’s lives or what the message of “You Are Not Alone” means to them. Personal stories are brief, informal snapshots of lived experience, making them unique from pieces published on the NAMI Blog. By sharing these stories, we aim to raise awareness and make people feel less alone in their mental health journeys. nami.org/yourstory

Please share the link with your networks, and they could be featured on
nami.org/personal-stories and NAMI social media channels.

NAMI Blog  

During the month of September, the NAMI Blog will focus on preventing and
preparing for a crisis, as well as how to respond in the aftermath. New posts will be added weekly. Be sure to check out the NAMI Blog at nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog and look for posts on our social media featuring quotes from our authors.

Social Media

Content posted on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter will highlight facts about suicide and key resources for support. We will also feature videos with members of the NAMI community telling their personal stories that we invite you to share. 

It is important to reference crisis resources throughout the month. Here are some
suggested social posts featuring helpful information: 

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (@800273TALK) offers free, confidential crisis counseling 24/7/365 - and you don’t have to be in crisis to call. #SPM20 #NotAlone 
  • .@CrisisTextLine is free 24/7 mental health support at your fingertips. Text “NAMI” to 741741 for help. #SPM20 #NotAlone 
  • Crisis episodes related to mental illness can be incredibly difficult. To help navigate through them, NAMI created this downloadable guide available in English and Spanish: nami.org/crisisguide #SPM20 #NotAlone

We also encourage you to post relevant content on the following days: 

  • Sept. 6-12 Suicide Prevention Awareness Week 
  • Sept. 10 World Suicide Prevention Day 

Hashtags to Use: #SPM20 or #NotAlone

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: 

  • 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.

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 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 

Care builds communities where compassion, experience and support let people build better lives. Help us provide information, support and resources to millions of people.