Suicide Prevention & Awareness

Suicide Warning Signs

The more warning signs, the greater the risk of suicide.

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Having extreme mood swings
  • Giving away belongings, including treasured objects

suicide prevention ribbon with wings

September is National Suicide Prevention Month.

Suicide Prevention Day is 10th of September.

What Can Parents Do To Prevent Youth Suicide 2022

Parents can do several things to help their teenager after a suicide attempt:

  • Ensure the physical safety of the teenager.
  • Be available to support the teenager.
  • Be caring but don't be over-protective.
  • Close observation but not being intrusive.
  • Return to routine as soon as practical.
  • Removal of potentially dangerous substance/weapon.
  • Discuss issues relating to the attempt only at the initiative of the youth, i.e. no interrogation.

Ways to Engage with an Individual Considering Suicide

  • Experts suggest that we openly ask that individual if they are thinking about suicide. It is a difficult question, yet research shows that asking this does not increase the likelihood of an at-risk person carrying out the action or lead to an increase in suicidal thoughts.
  • Engage the at-risk person and get them to talk. Encourage them to get help. It is important to help them connect with ongoing support from a trained mental health provider.
  • Continue to be there for them, whether that is in person or by telephone. Also, try to keep them safe by reducing access to lethal means of harming themselves. Follow-up also is important, so call, visit, text or email to express your care and concern.

Suicide prevention: Here's how we can fight against a growing crisis (

Youth Suicide Risk Increased Over Past Decade

  • 22% of high school students in a recent 2021 survey stated that they had seriously considered suicide in the past year. This was an increase of 11% from 2011.
  • Female students continue to be at higher risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors than their male counterparts. Three in 10 females (30%) said that they seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, and nearly a quarter (24%) had made a suicide plan. This represents a 60% increase in both measures over the past decade. During the same period, suicide attempts by female students increased by 30%.
  • Black students were more likely to attempt suicide than their Asian, Hispanic, or White peers.
  • A higher percentage of what the CDC categorizes as American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students experienced suicidality in 2021 than all other races and ethnicities. This finding is consistent with evidence that suicide rates are highest for AI/AN people across all age groups, compared with other racial or ethnic groups.
  • LGBQ+ teens in 2021 were three times more likely to consider suicide than their heterosexual peers. They were also more likely to make suicide plans and attempts.
  • Nearly 6 in 10 students (58%) in 2021 who had any same-sex partners considered suicide, compared with 26% of students who only had opposite-sex partners. Those who had any same-sex partners were also more likely to make suicide plans and attempts than those who only had opposite-sex partners.

The Pew Charitable Trusts ( 2023

Common Myths

“People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.”

  • False: Almost everyone who attempts or completes suicide has given warning signs through their words or behaviors. Do not ignore any suicide threats. Statements like “You’ll be sorry when I’m dead” or “I wish I was dead” — no matter how casually or jokingly said — may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

“If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her.”

  • False: Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want to die; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end their life, however overpowering, does not last forever.

“Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.”

  • False: You do not give a person ideas about suicide by talking about it. The opposite is true. If a person is depressed or unhappy, discussing their feelings openly and allowing them to express how they feel is one of the most helpful things you can do. Even if they have had suicidal thoughts, giving them permission to express those thoughts can relieve some of the anxiety and provide an avenue to recognize other ways to escape their pain and sadness.

“People who attempt suicide and do not complete suicide are just trying to get attention and are not really serious.”

  • False: To a certain degree, they are trying to get attention and help for the pain that they are experiencing. A suicide attempt, even half-hearted, is an attempt to seek help. If the person perceives their action to be a suicide attempt, then that is what it is. Any attempt, regardless of severity, must be taken seriously and help must be sought for the individual.

Common Myths: The Parent Resource Program

Recommendations from Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention (NOSP)

Know the signs. Don’t wait for a crisis. If people get help and support before an attempt, they rarely make a second attempt. Reduce access to lethal means. Acting on thoughts of suicide can be impulsive. Reducing access gives time to get help and save lives. Lock up all medications, firearms, and securely store the ammunition separately.

Talk openly, teach coping and problem-solving skills. It is paramount to also address feelings of grief, loss, and disruption. We need to nurture a compassionate community which provides a sense of safety, security, and belonging for all; encourage and model open communication; and create opportunities to talk and connect, especially for youth and young adults.

Know what questions to ask. Using a simple screening tool, (e.g., the —Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale), helps determine a person’s suicide risk level.

Media reporting. Responsible and safe media reporting on suicide deaths by not sensationalizing or glamorizing suicide will decrease the risk of contagion. Including stories of hope, help, and resilience can improve suicide prevention awareness in a community.

NOSP Article: Suicide Prevention in Nevada: COVID-19 Impact, Risk & Protective Factors, and Recommendations

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

988 offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress. That could be: thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can call or text 988 or chat for themselves or if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

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