September 2023: National Suicide Prevention Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide and suicidal ideation have impacted the lives of millions around the globe, including many of us at The Advocates.
While these can be heavy, troubling topics to think about, we believe that education, awareness, and access to resources are what will ultimately move us toward the goal of a world without suicide.
Statistics for Suicide and Suicidal Ideation in the United States
Understanding risk factors for suicide can help us know who is at greater risk and find ways to help, as individuals, communities, and as a nation.
- Suicide is the 11th most common cause of death in the United States
- In 2021, suicide rates were highest among adults aged 25-34 and those older than 75
- On average, there are 132 suicide deaths each day in the US
- The CDC estimates that in 2020, more than 940,000 years of potential life were lost to suicide
- The states with the highest suicide rates include Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, New Mexico, and Idaho
- 12.3 million adults have seriously thought about suicide
- American Indian men and non-Hispanic white men are the two racial demographics with the highest rates of suicide deaths
- Veterans, people living in rural areas, LGBTQ people, and people working in certain occupations (such as mining and construction) have higher than average suicide rates
You are not alone—there are people who care about you and are there to listen. If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, get help using the following resources.
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: You can call or text 988 to be connected to a trained crisis counselor. This service is available 24/7. You can also chat online at 988lifeline.org.
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741-741. These crisis counselors can provide support with suicide, self-harm, eating disorders, and other crises.
Veterans Crisis Line: If you are a veteran experiencing suicidal ideation, dial 988, then press 1. You do not need to be enrolled in VA benefits or healthcare to receive help at this crisis line.
How You Can Make a Difference
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: The AFSP provides educational materials, awareness programs, and research funding for suicide prevention. Each year, the AFSP hosts suicide prevention walks across the United States. Find a walk close to you here. You can also donate to the cause here.
National Institute of Mental Health: The mission of the NIMH is to “transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.” They offer free shareable suicide prevention resources.