National Suicide Prevention Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Through honest conversation and by providing kids who need it with help, we can prevent suicides and save lives. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. 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.
Know the Facts
- 44,965 people die by suicide each year (AFSP)
- Based on the 2015 Youth Risk Behaviors Survey, 8.6 percent of youth in grades 9-12 reported that they had made at least one suicide attempt in the past 12 months (AFSP)
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for young people aged 5-25 (AACAP)
- Every 2 hours and 11 minutes, a young person under the age of 25 contemplates suicide (Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas)
- A recent or serious loss
- A mental health disorder, particularly a mood disorder such as depression
- Prior suicide attempts
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Stigma associated with asking for help
- Strong connections with family, friends and community
- Good problem-solving abilities
- Access to appropriate clinical intervention
- Talking about suicide
- Making statements about feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless
- A deepening depression
- Preoccupation with death
- Taking unnecessary risks or exhibiting self-destructive behavior
What to Do if You’re Worried
- Tell your child how important he or she is to you
- Validate your child’s feelings and express empathy
- Don’t be afraid to talk openly about your concern
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255 or chat with a counselor online
Mood disorders including depression and bipolar disorder may increase the risk of suicide. Early diagnosis and intervention are essential. Treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and mindfulness, as well as medication. Learn more about treatment here.
- How to Talk to Your Parents About Getting Help
Speaking up for yourself is the first step to getting better.
- How to Support a Friend With Mental Health Challenges
While still taking care of yourself.
- Signs a Child Might Be Suicidal
What to watch out for and how to help.
- Teen Suicides: What Are the Risk Factors?
Temperament, family and community all play a role.
- What to Do if You’re Worried About Suicide
A parent’s guide to helping a child in distress.
- LGBTQ Teens, Bullying and Suicide
What are the causes and how can we help?
- Parenting a Depressed Teenager
Start by listening without judgment.
- Signs of Depression During the Coronavirus Crisis
Kids who seem stuck in a negative mood may need help to bounce back.
- Help for Cutting and Other Self-Injury
When kids hurt themselves as a way to manage difficult emotions.
- Helping Resistant Teens into Treatment
And why they need to want to get better.
- Taking Your Child to the Emergency Room
What the ER can (and can’t) do for your child in a psychiatric emergency.
- OCD and Suicide
How a form of OCD can be mistaken for being suicidal.
- Coping With a Parent’s Suicide
How to help the children who are left behind.
- Supporting Children After the Suicide of a Classmate
Responding to a painful loss in the healthiest way possible.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Free, confidential 24/7 support.
- The Trevor Project
Crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ young people.
- Crisis Text Line
Free text line with 24/7 support.
- Veterans Crisis Line
Support for veterans, service members and their family and friends.
- JED Foundation
Resources and support for teenagers and young adults.
- NAMI Helpline (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Free peer-support resource for information and referrals.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Education and support services for those affected by suicide.
- National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
Resources and information for suicide prevention.
- SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)
Programs and services for suicide awareness and prevention.
- DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)
Education, tools and peer support programs.