September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Now more than ever, our country is witnessing an alarming number of mental health crises, suicide attempts and suicides. According to the CDC, in 2021:

  • 12.3 million adults seriously thought about suicide
  • 3.5 million adults made a plan
  • 1.7 million adults attempted suicide

Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have long-lasting effects on individuals, families, and communities. Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States and was responsible for more than  48,000 deaths in 2021. This is 1 death every 11 minutes.

Many factors can increase the risk for suicide or protect against it. Suicide is connected to other forms of injury and violence. For example, people who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence have a higher suicide risk.

This includes individuals of all ages and races/ethnicities:  

  • Youth and young adults ages 10-24 now account for 15% of all suicides. Suicide rates have increased 52.2% between 2000-2021 for this age group, with suicide being the second leading cause of death.
  • The racial/ethnic groups with the highest suicide rates in 2021 were non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White populations.
  • In 2021, 26.3% of high school students identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual reported attempting suicide in the prior 12 months. This is five times higher than the rate reported among heterosexual students.

The good news is that suicide is preventable. Preventing suicide requires strategies at all levels of society. This includes prevention and protective strategies for individuals, families, and communities. Everyone can help prevent suicide by learning the warning signs, promoting prevention and resilience, and a committing to social change.

What can I do to help others?

  • Check in on your family and friends. Stay connected through social media, a quick text or phone call, or lunch plans. You never know what someone may be going through.
  • If someone needs to talk, listen. Let them know that you care and that they are not alone.
  • You can help someone telling you they want to end their life by not leaving them on their own, seeking professional help, helping them create a crisis plan and removing potentially dangerous items around them.
  • Become proactive by signing up for local trainings or workshops on how to help those who are struggling. Find local trainings in your area under “Local Activities/Trainings” below.
  • Be knowledgeable about resources available and how someone can reach out for professional help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is free and available to call or text 24/7 if someone needs to talk or is experiencing a mental health-related crisis.

Need Help Now?

National Crisis Line
Contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if you are experiencing mental health-related distress or are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. Call or text 988 to speak with a trained crisis counselor for free 24/7/365.

Local Support

Lebanon County Crisis

Suicide Prevention Resources

Center for Disease Control and Prevention:  https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/ Take 5 to Save Lives: https://www.take5tosavelives.org/learnThe Action Alliance: https://theactionalliance.org/   

Local Activities/Trainings

  • Cash BINGO Benefiting Suicide Prevention
    August 27, 1pm at St. Cecilia’s Parish Center
    Register here.
  • Suicide Prevention Walk
    Sept. 9, 10am at the Nature Barn in Stoever’s Dam ParkIn recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, this FREE event allows participants to remember and honor those we have lost to suicide.
    Register the same day at 9am.
  • Light a Candle in your window for World Suicide Prevention Day
    Sept. 10
  • WellSpan Health QPR Training (Question, Persuade, Refer)
    Sept. 12, 4:30pm at the Lebanon County Senior Center.
    Learn how to respond to someone in crisis and how you can help save a life.
    Call 717-272-8317 to register.
  • WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) Training
    Sept. 12, 13, & 14, 9am at Lebanon County Mental Health
    This evidence-based practice for mental health recovery can assist with managing medical challenges, controlling your own life and improving the overall quality of your life.
    Call (717) 517-8552, ext. 16 to register.

Visit our website for more information on Suicide Prevention resources and upcoming events.

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