September is National Suicide Prevention Month: SAMHSA

Join Sound Mental Health as we acknowledge September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year more than 41,000 individuals die by suicide, leaving behind thousands of friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of their loss. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. and the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-24(American Association of Suicidology). Risk factors for suicide vary by age, gender, and ethnic group. And risk factors often occur in combinations.

Over 90 percent of people who die by suicide have clinical depression or another diagnosable mental health issues. Many times, people who die by suicide have an alcohol or substance abuse problem. Often they have that problem in combination with other mental disorders.

Know the warning signs and get help visiting the American Association of Suicidology.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or visit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Please take a look at this information from SAMHSA.

Every 12 minutes, someone in the U.S. completes suicide. For every one suicide, there are 25 attempts. The widespread tragedy of suicide and suicidal ideation has caused an increase in the number of people intimately familiar with its effects and associated trauma. Knowing the warning signs of suicide, and how to help a person contemplating suicide, are essential skills for health care providers, especially those who work in integrated health settings.

The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) has gathered a list of resources and tools for provider organizations looking to implement a suicide prevention strategy or enhance a current one.

  • Help Prevent Suicide By starting the conversation and providing support to those who need it, we all can help prevent suicide and save lives. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide—whether you are in crisis or not—call or live chat the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • The Adverse Childhood Experience Survey (ACE) measures 10 types of childhood trauma; five are personal — physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect and emotional neglect; five are related to other family members: a parent engaged in substance misuse, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment.
  • The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) is an instrument used for suicide assessment. It is available in 114 country-specific languages, and mental health training is not required to administer the C-SSRS. Various professionals can administer this scale, including physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, peer counselors, coordinators, research assistants, high school students, teachers and clergy. Learn more about the C-SSRS and how it can be used.
  • The MacArthur Depression Toolkit assists primary care clinicians with recognizing and managing depression. This toolkit includes user-friendly instruments to assist with recognizing, diagnosing, treating and monitoring depression.
  • This edition of the Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) eSolutions focuses on Suicide Prevention in Primary Care and contains a profile of a New York FQHC, common suicide warning signs and featured resources.
  • A Discussion Guide for Primary Health Care Providers is an online guide to equip primary health care providers with questions to begin discussions with their patients about alcohol, illicit drug, and mental health issues, as well as co-occurring disorders. This brief guide also includes resources for patients who need an evaluation based on positive screening results.
  • Stories of Hope and Recovery is a video guide for suicide attempt survivors and features inspiring stories from three people who survived an attempted suicide. Told through their voices and those of their families, the stories recount their journeys from the suicide attempt to a life of hope and recovery. You can find additional resources in A Journey Toward Health and Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery After a Suicide Attempt, which guides survivors through the first steps toward recovery and a hopeful future after a suicide attempt.
  • Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Rural Primary Care, developed by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Mental Health Program, in collaboration with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, assists rural primary care providers in effectively identifying and intervening with individuals who are suicidal.
  • Suicide Safe is a suicide prevention, mobile-learning tool to help providers integrate suicide prevention strategies into their practice and reduce suicide risk among their patients. SAMHSA’S free app is available for Android and iOS operating systems.
  • The Suicide Resource Prevention Center (SPRC), funded by SAMHSA, provides technical assistance, training and materials to increase the knowledge of professionals serving people at risk for suicide. The SPRC Training Institute has a variety of trainings that focus on suicide prevention among specific populations, including for LGBT youth and youth in juvenile justice facilities. The institute also offers a one-day curriculum for mental health professionals on assessing and managing suicide risk. SPRC’s Zero Suicide program offers toolkits designed to help assess an organization’s readiness and ability to impact suicide, and specific training and development strategies to provide safer prevention-informed care.
  • The California Mental Health Services Authority developed the Training Resource Guide for Suicide Prevention in Primary Care Settings to help guide county efforts to engage primary care in suicide prevention. It includes training materials and implementation tools, a suicide prevention toolkit for rural primary care practices, and sample handouts and resources.
  • Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that helps the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Find local suicide prevention resources in your community and state.

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