Why does the CDC prioritize suicide prevention? Because as a leading cause of death, it is a public health concern for every community.
One difficulty is that suicide is different than other diseases. Cause and effect can be measured directly from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other serious medical conditions to death. Suicide can also be the result of a long illness, whether physical or mental, or it can be the effect of an impulsive decision spawned by a perfect storm of life events.
Since we can’t always know the exact cause of suicide, the only option is to be proactive and learn as much as we can about the signs that lead up to it. Then take action by applying the knowledge gained.
Suicide month is a perfect opportunity to do just that. Many organizations are publishing and promoting all their free tools. All you need to invest is a little bit of time.
Take a look at the CDC’s list below and click any link that attracts your attention.
Resources available to help all of us prevent suicide and promote mental health
- Suicide Prevention:
- visit the new webpage on Suicide, Suicide Attempt, and Self-Harm Clusters for information about suicide clusters, how to report them and how to get assistance
- access the recently updated Suicide Prevention Resources for fact sheets, publications and data sources
- access our fact sheet on suicide prevention
- Read the report on the State of State, Territorial, and Tribal Suicide Prevention
- Read the #BeThere feature to learn more about how you can help prevent suicide
- Visit our webpage on Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event for tips on how to take care of your mental health during an emergency
- States and communities can use Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policies, Programs, and Practices to identify strategies and approaches with the best available evidence to prevent suicide
- Learn more about WISQARS data visualization: Leading Causes of Death: Suicide and Suicide Data by Age Group
Other Helpful Resources:
- Visit BeThe1To.com for information on how to talk to someone who is thinking about suicide and information about how to stay connected during times of physical distancing
- Seize the Awkward provides tools, tips, and resources for how to have a conversation about mental health and suicide
- You can text or connect someone who is struggling to the CrisisTextLine. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor 24/7
- The Trevor Project provides crisis support and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth
- The Veteran’s Crisis Line provides caring, qualified responders to help veterans in crisis; call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, or text 838255
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
- The Disaster Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990, available 24/7/365) provides behavioral health resources for communities and responders to help them prepare, respond, and recover from disaster
A Culture of Caring: A Suicide Prevention Guide for Schools (K-12) was created as a resource for educators who want to know how to get started and what steps to take to create a suicide prevention plan that will work for their schools and districts. It is written from my perspective as a school principal and survivor of suicide loss, not an expert in psychology or counseling. I hope that any teacher, school counselor, psychologist, principal, or district administrator can pick up this book, flip to a chapter, and easily find helpful answers to the questions they are likely to have about what schools can do to prevent suicide.