Community Awareness Rallying to End Suicide
Americans Overwhelmingly Believe Suicide Can Be Prevented

November 2, 2018

A national survey conducted online on behalf of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention shows that Americans overwhelmingly (94 percent) believe that suicide can be prevented, and most would take action to help someone close to them who was thinking about suicide.

While the majority of Americans would encourage a friend or loved one in crisis to seek help from a mental health professional or doctor or other primary care health professional, many also recognize that reducing the number of people who die by suicide also involves educating the public, improving training for healthcare professionals, and educating community leaders such as teachers and clergy.

“It is promising to know that more than ever before, the American public wants to play a role in suicide prevention and recognizes that mental health is equally important as physical health,” said Bob Gebbia, Chief Executive Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “In addition to improving suicide related care in our health systems, we must also do more to support people where they live, work, and learn.”

Family members, friends, coworkers and others understand they can play a role in being there for someone who might be feeling alone, helpless, and isolated from various factors – whether that be a job loss, a breakup, or the grief of losing a loved one to suicide. For far too long, many people did not feel comfortable openly discussing this complex topic, but today we are at a tipping point in this country. Americans overwhelmingly agree they have an important role to play in preventing suicide – and most are interested in learning how they might be able to play a role in helping someone who may be suicidal.

But they need more information and guidance. The majority of Americans recognize that most people who die by suicide usually show some signs beforehand, but only a third say they can tell when someone is suicidal. Additionally, a minority of Americans say they would provide someone who was suicidal with a phone number for a crisis hotline or other resource.

Some helpful and hopeful ways the public can be there for someone who might be struggling or in crisis:

  • Learn the warning signs
  • Take action steps and help to connect a person to professional care.
  • Share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number: 800-273-TALK – which provides 24/7, free, and confidential support. Military veterans may press ‘1’ for specialized care, or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741

You can learn “suicide prevention first aid.” For information on upcoming classes, or to schedule a talk to your group, contact the Jesse Klump Memorial Fund at (443) 982-2716, or weremember@jssespaddle.org. For online mental health resources, and suicide prevention information, visit Who Can Help Me? on our website.

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