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September Suicide Prevention Month : Know The Signs & How To Help

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2018 suicide was the 10th leading cause of death, responsible for 48,000 deaths in the United States. Reports from the CDC shows 10.7 million adults have contemplated suicide, 3.3 million made a plan, and 1.4 million attempted.

In many cases family and friends are the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide and they can be the first to advocate for an at-risk individuals life. Many factors contribute to someone attempting suicide. Someone thinking about suicide may be experiencing symptoms of mental illness, loss of a loved one, job loss, relationship problems, financial difficulties, changes in health, or other significant life change(s) or stressors.

Common Signs of someone contemplating suicide include:

  • Negative View of Self

  • Sense of Hopelessness or No Future

  • Isolation or Feeling Alone

  • Substance Abuse

  • Making Suicide threats

  • Giving things AWAY

  • Making Funeral Arrangements

  • Self-Harm

  • Engaging in Risky Behaviors

  • Possessing Lethal Means

  • Feeling like a BURDEN to others

  • Drastic changes in MOOD and BEHAVIOR


  1. ASK. “Are you contemplating harming yourself?” This question can be really tough to ask, but it can make the difference in saving an individual’s life.

  2. KEEP THEM SAFE. Remove any possessions that can aid in the person’s attempt to commit suicide.

  3. BE THERE. Be an active listen and acknowledge the thoughts and feelings of the individual.

  4. HELP THEM CONNECT. Connect the individual with the 24/7 prevention lines by calling National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).

  5. STAY CONNECTED. Stay in contact with the individual during and after the crisis to show your support.

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