World Suicide Prevention Day is observed every year on September 10th. It was started in 2014 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization. The goal of this day is to raise awareness around the world that suicide can be prevented, and that there are resources available to help those who are struggling. This movement continues throughout the month of September, which is National Suicide Prevention Month.

Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously. It’s important to notice changes in behavior, especially if it is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Changes may include increased talk of hopelessness or feeling trapped, withdrawing from activities, isolating from friends and family, giving away possessions, and increased feelings of depression, anxiety, or irritability. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either in what they say or what they do.

Someone who is suicidal may not specifically ask for help, but that does not mean that help isn’t wanted. It is important to check in on your loved ones frequently. If you notice any warning signs in someone that you know, ask them how they are feeling, and listen without judging. Help connect them to resources for support. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can provide guidance in dealing with a crisis situation. They can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255. See below for more helpful resources.

Important Phone Numbers

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line: Text TALK to 741-741 to text with a trained crisis counselor for free, 24/7
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline: Call 1-800-662-4357 for free, confidential, 24/7 treatment referral and information for individuals facing mental health or substance abuse disorders
  • Your Employee Assistance Program: Counselors are available 24/7 for support by contacting 1-877-252-8550

Sources: World Health Organization, SAMHSA The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only.  For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.