Highlighting the Role of All Americans
The Action Alliance, in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Education Development Center, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and The Harris Poll, conducted a national survey
to better understand the general public’s perceptions on mental health, suicide, and suicide prevention. According to the survey, Americans overwhelmingly (93 percent) believe that suicide can
be prevented, and most (95 percent) would
take action to help someone close to them who was thinking about suicide. In addition, in the wake of COVID-19, a majority of those surveyed say it's more important than ever to make suicide prevention a national priority
However, the survey also found that most respondents identified barriers that keep them from discussing suicide with others (69 percent). These barriers included not knowing what to say (31 percent), feeling they don't have enough knowledge (28 percent), or not feeling comfortable with the topic (19 percent).
These findings emphasize the importance of equipping all Americans with the necessary tools and resources to feel empowered to have these conversations, including providing the concrete, actionable steps they can take when it comes to suicide prevention. As we prepare for Suicide Prevention Month (#SPM21) in September, consider ways to encourage the public to be there for someone who might be struggling or is in crisis. Some examples of how someone can #BeThere
- Check in with a friend by phone or text message to see how they are doing.
- Invite a friend to meet for a physically-distanced coffee or 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.’
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. To learn more, visit the Action Alliance's #BeThere page