Highlighting the Role of the Public for
Suicide Prevention Month/Week
The Action Alliance, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Harris Poll, conducted a
to better understand the general public’s perceptions on mental health, suicide, and suicide prevention. According to the survey, Americans overwhelmingly (94 percent) believe that suicide can be prevented, and most (94 percent) would take action to help someone close to them who was thinking about suicide.
In addition, most Americans agree that they have an important role to play in preventing suicide, but they need more information and guidance about how to help. In fact, most respondents (78 percent) are interested in learning how they might be able to play a role in helping someone who is suicidal. However, only 31 percent of Americans say they can tell when someone is suicidal, and only 38 percent say they would provide someone who was suicidal with a phone number for a crisis hotline or other resource.
These findings emphasize the importance of providing the public with concrete, actionable steps they can take when it comes to suicide prevention. As we prepare for Suicide Prevention Month (
) in September, consider ways to encourage the pubic to be there for someone who might be struggling or in crisis. Some examples of how someone can
- Check in with a friend by phone or text message to see how they are doing.
- Invite a friend to meet for coffee or to share a meal together.
- Send a handwritten card to let someone know you are thinking of them.
- Learn the risk factors and warning signs.
- Help connect someone who is struggling to professional care.
- Share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Number (800-273-8255), which provides 24/7, free, and confidential support. For specialized care, military veterans may press ‘1.’ In addition, anyone can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
Together, we are changing the conversation about suicide by countering myths and fear with information and action steps everyone can take. We all have a role to play in suicide prevention, not only during the month of September but all year long.