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    September 7, 2023

    Shining Light on Suicide Awareness Month: 40 Vital Resources to Get Help

    Welcome back from summer vacation!

    September is designated National Suicide Prevention Month, in part to help de-stigmatize discussing suicide and mental illness and to promote mental health strategies that help our school communities not just live but live happier lives. 

    In this post, we offer 40 critical resources to help you, your children, students, staff, or others in your community in a crisis or non-life-threatening situation.

    Suicide is one of the greatest health crises of our day, with nearly 3,000 people, on average, taking their own lives every day. The statistics for young people are tragic, raising alarm bells at schools nationwide. According to Pew Charitable Trusts, the most recent national data reveals that “people 10-24 years old account for 14% of all suicides—surpassing 6,500 deaths yearly.” This makes suicide the second leading cause of death among our students. Figures are particularly high among black and LGBTQ+ students.

    Educators Play a Leading Role in Youth Suicide Prevention

    As educators, we can actively reduce these premature deaths by creating physically safer, culturally accepting, and emotionally safe schools. The more we normalize mental health issues and work in concert with community experts and organizations, the more we can help students deal with the unprecedented stress they experience at home and school.

    September is Suicide Awareness Month. Now is the ideal opportunity to focus on wellness and suicide prevention for K-12 students.

    The Rising Tide of Mental Illness and Suicide Among Children and Teens

    It’s hard to look away from the alarming statistics. These aren’t just numbers—they’re children we care about. Sometimes, mental health and behavioral issues have already been brought to our attention and hopefully are being appropriately addressed. Other times, we see risk factors, such as absences and poor performance. Still, other times, a child’s problems are invisible, even to teachers, parents, and friends who see them daily.

    Despite the many health and wellness programs schools have put into place, the rate of child and teen suicide continues to rise:  

    Considering what’s at stake, creating awareness is a critical first step in addressing the severity of the problem.

    The Importance of Suicide Prevention

    With so many young lives at stake, educators need to raise the bar in creating greater awareness about suicide prevention and related mental health topics. We can start by grappling with the fact that 80% of teens who die by suicide show warning signs. We have a better chance of reaching students before they hit a crisis point with programs that enable teachers and students to understand suicide risk factors, detect warning signs, and know what to do if they or someone they know needs help.      

    Although developing a nurturing environment and being sensitive to warning signs are positive steps, they are not enough. Improving access to treatment is imperative. In addition to prioritizing suicide prevention and wellness in resource allocation, we can join forces with community experts and agencies to develop creative approaches to expand life-saving access to treatment.

    Providing Tools and Resources to Help Prevent Suicide

    Well-designed suicide awareness and prevention programs can empower educators and parents alike to be more proactive in anti-suicide efforts. In recognizing the problem, we can take the next steps—turning to the many organizations, resources, and tools that can help us monitor children who are at risk, prevent escalation, create safe communities free from stigma, and ensure better access to resources, especially among vulnerable populations. 

    If you would like more information and resources—whether for a crisis situation or non-life threatening situation—to help your children, students, or others in your community, below are valuable resources to call upon.

    All of the resources listed below are out there, but they are scattered across geographies and the internet. STOPit brings many of them together in one place that can be easily accessed using a smartphone. To learn more about STOPit’s HelpMe app, download the ebook below.


    40 Ways to Get Help and Information

    24/7 Crisis Lines 

    • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988 or online at 988lifelong.org provides free, 24/7, confidential support (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline).
    • Boystown National Hotline:   Call 800-448-3000 or TTY 800-448-3000 for crisis and support line for children, youth and their parents, 24/7, Spanish available. 
    • Childhelp (1.800.4ACHILD):This 24/7 anonymous, confidential provides assistance in 170 languages to adults, children, and youth regarding child abuse.
    • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to connect with counselors 24/7/365.
    • Hopeline Suicide Crisis Hotline: Call 1-800-SUICIDE for a 24-hour National Suicide Crisis Hotline that automatically directs the call to the nearest crisis center. 
    • National Runaway Safeline (1.800.RUNAWAY): This is a 24/7 crisis line for youth thinking about running away, for youth already on the run, and adults worried about a runaway. 
    • Teen Lifeline: Call (24/7/365) or Text 1-800-248-8336 (weekdays 12-9pm and weekends), for crisis support or peer counseling (3-9pm daily).

    Tool Kits

    Mental Health Support & Referrals

    General Resource & Information

    Suicide Prevention Requires Awareness, Education, and Action

    As National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month approaches, let’s all commit to heightening awareness of the situation. There are many organizations, tools, and crisis hotlines that can help students in K12 and college—help us learn to spot warning signs, create safe learning environments, and improve access to resources across all districts. 

    New, convenient tools can improve mental health and suicide prevention efforts in your school community, including HelpMe, a mobile app that provides support and includes a crisis text line staffed by volunteers trained by professional crisis intervention professionals. Let’s do what it takes to make a difference!  




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