Prevention Services Newsletter
September 2021
In this issue:
  • September is National Suicide Prevention Month
  • Gambling Addiction and Suicide
  • Alcohol and Suicide
  • Cannabis Use May Be Associated With Suicidality In Young Adults
  • Upstander Circle Opportunity for 7th-12 Graders

September Is National Suicide Prevention Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is a major public health concern. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2019:
  • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,500 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 44.
  • There were nearly two and a half times as many suicides (47,511) in the United States as there were homicides (19,141)

If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential. 
Suicide and Gambling Addiction
Problem gambling can be a risk factor for suicide. According to a research, both men and women are at a greater risk of suicide if they struggle with gambling.
Are you concerned about your gambling habits or someone else's? There is hope and help! Check out this link for more tools for quitting gambling or get free and confidential professional support by calling 1-877-MY-LIMIT/877-695-4648.or visit
Alcohol and Suicide
There is a strong association between alcohol misuse (either chronic or acute) and suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, and death from suicide. Alcohol can lower a person’s inhibitions enough for them to act on suicidal thoughts. Any warning signals that may have kicked in if a person was sober are unlikely to work, which can lead to actions they might not otherwise have taken – including self-harm and suicide.
Cannabis Use May Be Associated With Suicidality In Young Adults
A new study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that cannabis use is associated with a greater risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts. An analysis of survey data from more than 280,000 young adults ages 18-35 showed that cannabis use was associated with increased risks of thoughts of suicide (suicidal ideation), suicide plans, and suicide attempts.
Invitation for 7th-12th Graders to Join Virtual Upstanders Circle

Do you know a 7th-12 grader who is passionate about social justice, interrupting harmful behavior, and creating a culture of helping? Consider inviting them to join our Upstander Circle. This is a virtual youth leadership group that will help youth gain leadership skills, use their voice for positive change, learn bystander intervention techniques, work with VOA staff to develop materials and co-facilitate bystander intervention workshops, and more. Participants will receive generous incentives. Contact Anna Bledsoe at to learn more.

For more information, questions, or comments, please email Anna Bledsoe or call 503 560 4373
Our mailing address is:
3910 SE Stark Street 
Portland, OR 97214