A time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic.
SPAMonthSuicide affects all ages and is a problem throughout the lifespan. This month is used to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life. #SuicidePrevention or #StigmaFree


Suicide Prevention is Everyone’s Business
SP WhyCareSuicide Prevention Week is Sept. 6 – 12, 2020. During this week, individuals and organizations around the country and the world join their voices to broadcast the message that suicide can be prevented, and to reach as many people as possible with the tools and resources to support themselves and those around them. Here are a few basic things you should know and that you can share with those around you:

Suicide can be prevented. Most of us have been touched by the tragedy of suicide. We may have lost someone close to us or been moved by the loss of someone we may have never met. When a suicide happens, those left behind often experience deep shock. Even if they knew the person was struggling, they may not have expected suicide would be the result. However, many people who find themselves in a suicide crisis can and do recover. Suicide can be prevented; you can help by taking the following actions:

Know the Signs: Most people who are considering suicide show some warning signs or signals of their intentions.

Find the Words: If you are concerned about someone, ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide. This can be difficult to do, but being direct provides an opportunity for them to open up and talk about their distress and will not suggest the idea to them if they aren’t already thinking about it.

Reach Out: You are not alone in this. Before having the conversation, become familiar with some resources to offer to the person you are concerned about.

Help is available
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255- TALK) offers 24/7 free and confidential assistance from trained counselors. Callers are connected to the nearest available crisis center. The Lifeline is also available in Spanish, and for veterans or for those concerned about a veteran, by selecting a prompt to be connected to counselors specifically trained to support veterans.

SPLifeline  SPCrisisTextLine   
You are not alone in helping someone in crisis. There are many resources available to assess, treat and intervene. If you’re thinking about suicide, or are worried about a friend or loved one, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States by calling 1-800-273-8255. #EachMindMatters #SuicidePreventionWeek2020 No estás solo en el momento de ayudar a alguien que esté pasando por una crisis. Existen muchos recursos disponibles que nos ayudan a evaluar, tratar e intervenir antes de que sea demasiado tarde. Si estás pensando en el suicidio o estás preocupado por un amigo o ser querido, la Red Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio ofrece servicios gratuitos los 24/7 al número 1-888-628-9454. #SanaMente # PrevenciónDelSuicidio

hopeSuicide Prevention Awareness: What can I do for myself or someone else?
Immediate action is very important. Here are a few resources:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), confidential help 24 hours a day. You can also visit the Lifeline’s website at suicidepreventiolifeline.org
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1
  • Crisis Text Line: text CONNECT to 741741

WorldSuicidePreventionDaySeptember is an important month for the national public health observance of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Week (September 6-12), and World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, 2020, thousands of people around our state and the world join together to raise awareness that suicide can be prevented, to honor the memory of those who have died by suicide, and to support healing among those who have survived the devastating impact of suicide.

WSD english
Observed on September 10th, every year, World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) provides the opportunity for people, across the globe, to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention. This year the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is preparing “World Suicide Prevention Day Light a Candle Near a Window at 8 PM” e-cards in various languages so supporters can send reminders to friends, colleagues and loved ones. Visit https://www.iasp.info/wspd2020/ to download the e-cards and learn more about other activities like Cycling Around the Globe, and additional resources. #WSPD2020
WSD spanish

El Día Mundial de Prevención del Suicidio se celebra cada año el 10 de septiembre, el cual alienta personas a través del mundo a crear concienciación sobre el suicidio y la prevención del suicidio. Este año, la Asociación Internacional para la Prevención del Suicidio (IASP) está preparando tarjetas electrónicas “Día Mundial de Prevención del Suicidio Enciende una Vela a las 8 PM” en diferentes idiomas para que los partidarios puedan mandar recordatorios a amigos, colegas y ser queridos. Para descargar las tarjetas electrónicas y encontrar otras actividades como “Pedaleando el Mundo”, y otros recursos, visite https://www.iasp.info/wspd2020/.  #PrevenciónDelSuicidio

Suicide Prevention Awareness: 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.

warningsignWhat are the warning signs for suicide?
The following are some signs you might notice in yourself or a friend that may be reason for concern:

  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill oneself
  • Making a plan or looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online
  • Buying a gun, or stockpiling pills
  • Feeling empty, hopeless, or feeling like there is no reason to live
  • 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 from family or friends or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Saying goodbye to loved ones, putting affairs in order

Seeking help is a sign of strength; if you are concerned, go with your instincts and seek professional help. Reaching out to a friend you are concerns about is also a sign of strength.

Suicide Prevention Awareness: Do people threaten suicide to get attention?
Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of express distress and an alert that someone needs help. Any warning sign or symptom of suicide should not be ignored. All talk of suicide should be taken seriously and requires attention. Threatening to die by suicide is not a normal response to stress and should not be taken lightly (National Institute of Mental Health).

Suicide Prevention Awareness: If you ask someone about suicide, does it put the idea into their head?
Asking someone about suicide is not harmful. There is a common myth that asking someone about suicide can out the idea into their head. This is not true. Several studies examining this concern have demonstrated that asking people about suicidal thoughts and behavior does not induce or increase such thoughts and experiences. In fact, asking someone directly, “Are you thinking of killing yourself,” can be the best way to identify someone at risk for suicide (National Institute of Mental Health).

SPAShineSuicide Prevention Awareness:  What should I do if I am in crisis or someone I know is considering suicide?
If you or someone you know has warning signs or symptoms of suicide, particularly if there is a change in behavior or a new behavior, GET HELP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Often family and friends are the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide and can take first step forward toward helping an at-risk individual find treatment with someone who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. If someone is telling you that they are going to kill themselves, do not leave them alone. Do not promise anyone that you will keep their suicidal thoughts a secret. Make sure you tell a trusted friend or family member, or if you are a student an adult whom you feel comfortable such as a teacher, school counselor, school psychologist, and/or school nurse.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Fact:
 According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2018, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people 10 to 34 years of age, the fourth leading cause among people 35 to 54 years of age, and the eighth leading cause among people 55 to 64 years of age.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Fact:
 Suicide is associated with several risk and protective factors, is connected to other forms of injury and violence and causes serious health and economic consequences. For example, suicide risk is higher among people who experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or social violence. Other characteristics associated with suicide include a history of suicide attempts and lack of problem solving skills. Protective factors like connectedness and easy access to health care buffer individuals from suicidal thoughts and behaviors (National Center for Disease control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2016).


5 Action Steps for Helping Someone in Emotional Pain (National Institute of Mental Health)

  1. ASK: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question but studies show that asking at risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.
  2. KEEP THEM SAFE: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of the suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling lethal means can make a difference.
  3. BE THERE: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.
  4. HELP THEM CONNECT: Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number (1-800-273-TALK) and the Crisis Text Line (741741) in your phone so they’re there if you need them. You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like an adult family member, school staff member, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.

STAY CONNECTED: Staying in touch after a crisis or being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.


What if someone is posting suicidal messages on Social Media?
Knowing how to get help for a friend posting suicidal messages on social media can save a life. Many social media sites have a process to report suicidal content and get help for the person posting the message.

  • Facebook Suicide Prevention webpage can be found at facebook.com/help/ [use the search term “suicide” or “suicide prevention”.
  • Instagram uses automated tools in the app to provide resources, which can also be found online at https://help.instagram.com [use the search term, “suicide”, “self injury”, or “suicide prevention”].
  • Snapchat Support provides guidance at https://support.snapchat.com [use the search term, “suicide” or “suicide prevention”].
  • Twitter’s Best Practice in Dealing with Self Harm and Suicide at https://support.twitter.com [use the search term “suicide,” “self harm,” or “suicide prevention”].
  • Youtube’s Safety Center webpage can be found at https://support.twitter.com [use the search term “suicide and self injury”].

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Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889. All calls are confidential. Contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency. Learn more on the Lifeline’s website or the Crisis Text Line’s website.