The 10th of September is World Suicide Prevention Day. On this day, we encourage all to ‘Create Hope Through Action’ to draw attention to this important public health issue globally and to disseminate the message that suicides are preventable.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
We can all help prevent suicide. The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 200 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among young people, and, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, was the tenth-leading cause of death in the nation (CDC, 2019). Every year in the U.S., more people die by suicide than in car accidents, and more suicide deaths occur than homicide and AIDS deaths combined. For every one person who dies by suicide annually, 316 people seriously consider suicide, but do not kill themselves.
The Lifeline has received over 20 million calls from people in distress looking for support when they needed it most.
Everyone can help prevent suicide by learning the warning signs and promoting prevention and resilience. According to the CDC, “Suicide prevention strategies share two goals: to reduce factors that increase risk and to increase factors that promote resilience or coping. Prevention requires a comprehensive approach that occurs at all levels of society—from the individual, family, and community levels to the broader social environment.”
While protective factors that stem from adults in youth’s lives cannot necessarily change existing risk factors, the following are protective factors that may minimize youth’s likelihood to engage in suicidal ideation or behavior:
- Strong and open communication between youth and foster parents/trusted adult
- Safe school and school connectedness
- Frequent physical activity and participation in sports
- Reduced access to alcohol, firearms, medication
- Providing the youth with effective coping skills
- Academic achievement and consistent academic support