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Suicide Prevention Week: Here's how you can help


Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US; In 2018, there were 48,344 Americans who died by suicide, with an estimated 1.4M suicide attempts

From the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention

To combat the rising suicide rates, action is what will help by making it easier for Americans in crisis to obtain assistance from trained counselors, and providing the support and resources you and your loved ones need.

Here's how you can help make a difference:

Share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Photo by Jim Reardan on Unsplash

This is a free, confidential way to get resources for yourself or be the difference for a loved one by gaining and offering support and understanding. The Lifeline is a national network of approximately 170 crisis centers.

There is good news advancing on this front as well. On July 16, 2020 the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to establish '988' as the new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. However, according to Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the number is not currently active and may not connect callers to the Lifeline yet. Americans who need help should contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline still by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK), or text "TALK" to 741741, as well as seek support through online chats. Veterans and Service members may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing the 1-800-273-TALK, can chat online at www.veteranscrisisline.net, or text the Veteran specific number 838255.

Since 2008, suicide has ranked as the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Suicide claimed the lives of more than 48,000 Americans in 2018, resulting in about one death every 11 minutes. An FCC staff report to Congress in 2019 proposed establishing this 988 as an easy to remember three-digit code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Staff analyzed various options and determined 988 was the best option for increasing access to crisis resources and ensuring the fastest possible transition. Establishing the easy-to-remember 988 as the “911” for suicide prevention and mental health services will make it easier for Americans in crisis to access the help they need and decrease the stigma surrounding suicide and mental health issues.

Have resources at the ready

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Emergency resources

Crisis services

Finding mental health care

Additional resources by mental health condition

Advocate for suicide prevention

Florida State Capitol, Tallahassee

Learn how volunteer Field Advocates are helping to pass suicide prevention legislation and policies that can save lives. Learn more

Bring suicide prevention to your school

Find a list of American Foundation for Suicide Prevention programs that you can bring to your school or university. Learn more

Community programs

Find a full list of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's community programs for suicide prevention. Learn more

Create your own fundraising event

Make a difference by turning your activities into fundraising campaigns to help raise awareness and funds for our cause. From throwing a dinner party to playing a concert or having a board game night – the possibilities for giving are endless. If you plan it, they will give! Learn more

Walk to fight suicide

Walkers make a difference. Together we can change the conversation about mental health and put a stop to this tragic loss of life. Find a walk

Learn about the latest research

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention research grants support studies that will increase our understanding of suicide or test treatments and other interventions that save lives. Learn more

Join a local chapter

With local programs and events in all 50 states, AFSP’s chapters are at the forefront of suicide prevention. They create a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, research and advocacy, and support for those affected by suicide. Find a local chapter in your community. Learn more. Find a chapter

Add a square to the Digital Memory Quilt

The quilt was created in memory of lost loved ones. Learn more

Whether you have struggled with suicide yourself or have lost a loved one, know you are not alone. There are many people in our local community whose lives have been impacted by suicide and can help provide resources and support. Take a moment today to reach out and help hope become real.


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