Suicide is a devastating public health problem that affects people of all ages. To help improve suicide awareness and support prevention efforts, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is recognized each September.
To help honor this annual effort, here we share an overview of this awareness month, discuss the importance of suicide prevention, and provide a variety of resources that can help support and educate your community. We also provide a free Mental Health Awareness Infographic.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is an annual effort by mental health organizations, advocacy groups, and individuals to improve awareness and discussion of mental health and suicide. This includes National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept 5-11) and World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept 10). These events are a valuable time to recognize and take action against mental health concerns and to improve suicide prevention resources and support.
Suicide is a public health crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming nearly 50,000 lives per year, and suicide rates have climbed over 33% since 1999. Suicide affects people of all ages, but it is the second leading cause of death for those aged 10-34. Other demographics that are at higher risk for suicide include:
In addition to tragic loss of life, suicide has far-reaching social, financial, and physical impacts. People that attempt suicide often experience mental health conditions and may have long-term injuries resulting from self-harm. When someone dies by suicide, it affects their family, friends, loved ones, and communities, and can even lead to others experiencing suicidal ideation. Additionally, the medical and work-loss costs of suicide and attempted suicide cost the United States over $70 billion per year.
Despite these staggering statistics, suicide is preventable. This includes improving mental health awareness, promoting community engagement, and providing supportive resources both at home, in educational environments, and in the workplace.
Educating your community is an important step in suicide prevention. For example, it’s helpful to be aware of suicide risk factors such as family history, existing mental health concerns, history of substance abuse, financial concerns, and family troubles. It’s also important to reference and share local and national resources, such as:
Vector LiveSafe also offers several other resources about mental health concerns and their repercussions, including the following:
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is a valuable time to educate your community about the risk and prevalence of suicide in the United States. By engaging in conversations about mental health and providing relevant resources, you can ensure that community members feel supported and that those who are at risk know how to access help. In the workplace, this can also help employers uphold Duty of Care, support Total Worker Health, and maintain business productivity.
This September, honor Suicide Prevention Awareness Month by taking steps against suicide and its repercussions in your community.
Mental health support is an important component of suicide prevention. To help, we have created a free Mental Health Awareness Infographic that can be shared with your community to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of mental health concerns.