September Is Suicide Prevention Month: Here’s What to Know

September 27, 2021
Mental Health

In observance of Suicide Awareness Month, we’ve invited NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness to share a guest post with resources and context.

In observance of Suicide Awareness Month, we’ve invited NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness to share a guest post with resources and context.

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.

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 at NAMI 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.

Informational Resources

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.

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.

Data from CDC, NIMH and other select sources.


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