Suicide prevention awareness month

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: 5 Important Facts about Suicide

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month (September) is an important time to spread awareness regarding mental health and suicide. Millions of people contemplate suicide or make plans to commit suicide each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States.

Here are five facts you need to know about suicide. 

1. Suicide is a leading cause of death. 

According to the CDC, suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2020, there were nearly two times as many suicides as homicides. Suicide is also a public health concern. Rates increased 30 percent between 2000-2018 and decreased in 2019 and 2020. Still, a suicide occurs every 11 minutes, and the number of attempts is even higher. 

2. Some groups have higher suicide rates than others. 

Suicide affects all ages and remains a leading cause of death for people ages 10-64. However, some groups have higher rates than others. By race/ethnicity, the groups with the highest suicide rate are non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White populations. 

Other groups with higher suicide rates are veterans, people in rural areas, and workers in certain industries and occupations like mining or construction. Individuals who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual also have a higher suicide rate compared to their heterosexual peers. 

3. Many adults think about and make plans to commit suicide. 

In 2020, nearly 46,000 people died by suicide. But suicide affects many more people than this. 12.2 million individuals seriously thought about suicide in the same year, and 3.2 million made plans to carry out the act. Furthermore, 1.2 million people attempted suicide. 

Fortunately, 90 percent of people who attempt suicide and survive will never die by suicide. But this does not mean they return to normal, healthy lives. These individuals may have long-lasting impacts from their injuries, as well as lingering depression and mental health concerns. 

4. It is possible to prevent suicide.

Contrary to popular belief, suicide is preventable. To be effective, suicide prevention must happen on many levels. Here are some examples of what can be done to strengthen our communities, help those in need, and prevent suicide: 

  • Strengthen household financial security 
  • Provide more and better coverage for mental health conditions 
  • Address provider shortages in underserved areas 
  • Reduce access to lethal means for at-risk individuals 
  • Promote connectedness within communities 
  • Identify and support people at risk for suicide 

5. A nationwide mental health crisis line is available. 

In July 2020, the FCC designated 988 as a nationwide 3-digit number for mental health and suicide concerns. The 988 operational hotline routes calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 

This new number is easier to remember and has the funding and resources to connect people to the appropriate support services in their communities. People who call 988 will never be put on hold, and they will be connected to a trained mental health professional. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health problems, contact Awakenings Treatment Center. Our outpatient mental health facilities treat mental health and substance use problems under one roof. Find out which program is right for your needs today.