September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Monday, August 21, 2023

Suicide Prevention Month

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Now more than ever, our country is witnessing an alarming number of mental health crises, suicide attempts and suicides. According to the CDC, in 2021:

  • 3 million adults seriously thought about suicide
  • 5 million adults made a plan
  • 7 million adults attempted suicide

Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have long-lasting effects on individuals, families, and communities. Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States and was responsible for more than  48,000 deaths in 2021. This is 1 death every 11 minutes.

Many factors can increase the risk for suicide or protect against it. Suicide is connected to other forms of injury and violence. For example, people who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence have a higher suicide risk.

This includes individuals of all ages and races/ethnicities:  

  • Youth and young adults ages 10-24 now account for 15% of all suicides. Suicide rates have increased 52.2% between 2000-2021 for this age group, with suicide being the second leading cause of death.
  • The racial/ethnic groups with the highest suicide rates in 2021 were non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic White populations.
  • In 2021, 26.3% of high school students identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual reported attempting suicide in the prior 12 months. This is five times higher than the rate reported among heterosexual students.

The good news is that suicide is preventable. Preventing suicide requires strategies at all levels of society. This includes prevention and protective strategies for individuals, families, and communities. Everyone can help prevent suicide by learning the warning signs, promoting prevention and resilience, and a committing to social change.

What can I do to help others?

  • Check in on your family and friends. Stay connected through social media, a quick text or phone call, or lunch plans. You never know what someone may be going through.
  • If someone needs to talk, listen. Let them know that you care and that they are not alone.
  • You can help someone telling you they want to end their life by not leaving them on their own, seeking professional help, helping them create a crisis plan and removing potentially dangerous items around them.
  • Become proactive by signing up for local trainings or workshops on how to help those who are struggling. Find local trainings in your area under “Local Activities/Trainings” below.
  • Be knowledgeable about resources available and how someone can reach out for professional help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is free and available to call or text 24/7 if someone needs to talk or is experiencing a mental health-related crisis.


Need Help Now?

National Crisis Line
Contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if you are experiencing mental health-related distress or are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. Call or text 988 to speak with a trained crisis counselor for free 24/7/365.

Local Supports

York/Adams Mental Health-Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (MH-IDD) Program
WellSpan Health Crisis Intervention- Call (800) 673-2496 or (717) 851-5320


Suicide Prevention Resources
Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
Take 5 to Save Lives:
The Action Alliance:


Suicide Prevention Training (free)

WellSpan Health Philhaven – Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) training is facilitated in person or virtually. Contact Jayne Miller, Community Mental Health Educator Coordinator at 717-273-8871, ext. 2248 or for more information.


Local Activities
Our FREE Labor Day 5K will take place on Monday, Sept. 4 at 8am. Come run or walk this Free, professionally chipped-timed event! There will be water at the start, finish and halfway point. There will be course monitors on every corner.

Register in advance HERE and then arrive at 7:45am, or sign up race day at 7:15am. Medals provided for all children under 13. 

The Adams County Suicide Awareness Walk will take place on September 13th at noon. The walk starts at the steps of the Adams County Court House, following the Suicide Prevention Proclamation.

The 1st Annual A^2 Tandem event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10am-3pm at Warrior Stadium in Gettysburg. Stop by for an active day of suicide awareness! Learn more here.