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Health & Wellness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month — a time to raise awareness on this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. In addition to shifting public perception, we use this month to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide. Our goal is ensuring that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help.

Throughout the month of September, NAMI will highlight “Together for Mental Health,” which encourages people to bring their voices together to advocate for better mental health care, including a crisis response system. NAMI wants any person experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors to have a number to call, a system to turn to, that would connect them to the treatment and support they need.

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.

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:

78% 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 among people aged 10–34 and the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S.

The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35% since 1999. 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition. While nearly half of individuals who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental health condition, research shows that 90% experienced symptoms.

Community Impact:

Annual prevalence of serious thoughts of suicide, by U.S. demographic group:

  • 4.8% of all adults
  • 11.8% of young adults aged 18-25
  • 18.8% of high school students
  • 46.8% of lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students

Some of the highest rates of suicide in the U.S. are among American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic white communities. Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.
Transgender adults are nearly 12x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for people held in local jails.

Informational Resources

  • Know the Warning Signs and Risk Factors of Suicide
  • Being Prepared for a Crisis
  • Navigating a Mental Health Crisis

Need more information, referrals or support? Contact the NAMI HelpLine.

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

During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we will provide images and graphics you can use on your website and social media accounts. Use #Suicide Prevention or #Together4MH

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.

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