Text equivalent of “Suicide Prevention: Facts and Resources”

Author: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Suicide Prevention Facts

  • Every twelve minutes 1 person will die from suicide in the United States.
  • The suicide rate for individuals with serious mental illness and mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder, is twenty-five times that of the general public.
  • Males take their own lives at nearly four times the rate of females and represent 77.9 percent of all suicides.
  • The highest rates of suicides per one-hundred-thousand females is ages forty-five to fifty-four.
  • The highest rates of suicide, per one-hundred-thousand males is ages seventy-five and older.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages fifteen to twenty-four and ages twenty-five to thirty-four.
  • Suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts increased for ages eighteen to twenty-five.

[The above facts are presented in a chart with basic illustrations, such as a person with their head in their hands. ]

[Chart credits: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2015). Suicide: Facts at a Glance. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide-datasheet-a.pdf. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2017). National Violent Death Reporting System. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nvdrs/index.html. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online]. (2013, 2011) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC (producer). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/injury/ wisqars/index.html]

SAFE-T: Suicide Assessment Five-step Evaluation and Triage

  1. Identify Risk Factors: Note those that can be modified to reduce risk.
  2. Identify Protective Factors: Note those that can be enhanced.
  3. Conduct Suicide Inquiry: Suicidal thoughts, plans, behaviors, and intent.
  4. Determine Risk Level/Intervention: Choose appropriate interventions to address and reduce risk.
  5. Document: Assessment of risk rationale, intervention and follow-up.

Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.
  • Losing interest in things, or losing the ability to experience pleasure.

Care Transitions: A High-Risk Time for Patients

The period of time following hospitalization is a high-risk time for patients with serious mental illness. Risks can be mitigated through:

  • Coordination between inpatient and outpatient services.
  • Safety planning prior to inpatient discharge.
  • Immediate involvement of family, friends, and social support.
  • Maintaining continuity of care best practices.
  • Follow-up with the patient within 24 hours after discharge.

Continuity of care is essential after an intent-to-harm-self emergency department visit:

  • Schedule follow-up appointment prior to discharge.
  • Follow-up appointments ideally occur within 24 to 72 hours post-discharge. When possible, facilitate contact between the patient and the follow-up facility prior to discharge.
  • Provide crisis and contact information.
  • Develop a personalized safety plan.
  • Review discharge recommendations with the person and approved social support.

Suicide Prevention Resources

[Each resource has a small photo of its cover next to it.]

  • TIP 50: Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment. Provides guidelines for working with suicidal adults living with substance use disorders.
  • A Journey Toward Health and Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery After a Suicide Attempt. Guides people through the first steps toward recovery and a hopeful future after a suicide attempt.
  • Suicide Safe: SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention App for Healthcare Providers. Available at iTunes and Google Play.
  • Suicide Prevention Resource Center. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
  • National Strategy for Suicide Prevention Implementation Assessment Report. The report provides a snapshot of recent efforts to implement the goals and objectives of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and makes suggestions for increasing the effectiveness of implementation efforts.
  • Zero Suicide. Making suicide prevention a core priority in health care systems using the Zero Suicide model, a framework for systematic, clinical suicide prevention in behavioral health and health care systems.

Need to Talk? We’re Here to Help

Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

  • For the suicide and crisis lifeline, call 9-8-8.
  • Text any message to 9-8-8 to start a conversation.
  • For persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service or dial 7-1-1 then 9-8-8.
  • For persons who use ASL, call 9-8-8 Videophone.

Disaster Distress Helpline

SAMHSA’s National Helpline

Find Your Closest Treatment Location

SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) • 1-800-487-4889 (TDD) • www.samhsa.gov