Help Prevent Suicide
By starting the conversation and providing support to those who need it, we all can help prevent suicide and save lives. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide—whether you are in crisis or not—call or live chat the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Help for You
Talking with someone about your thoughts and feelings can save your life. There are steps you can take to keep yourself safe through a crisis. Call any time or connect online with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to get support. You can also find resources on:
- Finding a therapist/support group.
- Building and using a support network.
- Making a safety plan for yourself
Help for Someone You Know
Learn how to recognize the warning signs when someone’s at risk—and what you can do to help. If you believe someone may be in danger of suicide:
- Call 911, if danger for self-harm seems imminent.
- Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves. This will not put the idea into their head or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.
- Listen without judging and show you care.
- Stay with the person or make sure the person is in a private, secure place with another caring person until you can get further help.
- Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
Who Is at Risk?
Thoughts of suicide can touch any person anywhere. But some groups in the U.S. are more at risk for various reasons. Learn more about how to help these groups and special resources available.
About the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, confidential 24/7 phone line that connects individuals in crisis with trained counselors across the United States.
You don’t have to be suicidal or in crisis to call the Lifeline. People call to talk about lots of things: substance abuse, economic worries, relationships, sexual identity, illness, getting over abuse, depression mental and physical illness, and loneliness. Here’s more about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
- You are not alone in reaching out. In 2018, more than 2.2 million people called the Lifeline.
- The Lifeline is funded and managed by SAMHSA. The Lifeline is a network of over 150 crisis centers nationwide.
- Calls to the Lifeline are routed to the nearest crisis center for connections to local resources for help.
- Responders are trained counselors who have stopped over 90 percent of suicide attempts or ideation among callers.
- Learn what happens when you call the Lifeline network.
- Frequently asked questions about the Lifeline.
What We Know About Suicide in the U.S.
Someone dies from suicide every 12 minutes—and over the past two decades, suicide rates have increased in every state across the country. For the first time in recent generations, life expectancy is decreasing due to suicide. According to the latest research:
- There were 1.4 million attempts and more than 47,000 deaths from suicide.
- Suicide is at its highest level and is still rising.
- Rural counties are being hit the hardest with suicide rates double the rate in urban counties.
- There has been an alarming 50% increase of suicide rates among women.
Suicide touches whole communities. Each person who dies by suicide leaves behind 135 people who knew that person—and the impact of suicide and the bereavement that follow.
References and Related Resources
- Suicide Prevention | Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health | SAMHSA
- After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department | SAMHSA
- Suicide—And a Reflection on Our Changing American Society | SAMHSA
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center | SAMHSA
- Suicide Safe Mobile App | SAMHSA
- Stories of Hope and Recovery: A Video Guide for Suicide Attempt Survivors | SAMHSA
- Overview | National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (SAMHSA) (PDF | 104 MB)
- Mortality in the United States, 2017 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- NCHS Data Brief, No. 309, June 2018: Suicide Rates in the United States Continue to Increase | CDC (PDF | 764 PDF)
- Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices | CDC (PDF | 6.3 MB)
- Suicide: Additional Resources | CDC
- Suicide Rising Across America | CDC (PDF | 825 PDF)
- Suicide Trends Among and Within Urbanization Levels by Sex, Race/Ethnicity, Age Group, and Mechanism of Death — United States, 2001–2015 | CDC
- Suicide in America: Frequently Asked Questions | National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
- How Many People Are Exposed to Suicide? Not Six. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior | Military Suicide Resource Consortium, Florida State University
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention