September recognized as National Suicide Prevention Month; resources
available to help

Suicide is an uncomfortable topic to discuss, but one that should be discussed openly and honestly. To help
raise awareness and open the dialogue, September is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Month.
According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, nearly 1.7 million American adults
attempt suicide each year and 2.3 million seriously consider it. This month is a time to focus on raising
awareness while learning to recognize concerns that can contribute to a high suicide rate.
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month — and all year long —
is #BeThe1To, which helps spread the word about the five actions everyone can take to help prevent
suicide. Those actions are:

  1. Ask: Research shows that talking about suicide tends to reduce suicide ideation.
  2. Be There: Speaking with a non-judgmental person can reduce feelings of depression, etc.
  3. Keep Them Safe: Studies show that reducing lethal means helps reduce suicide rates.
  4. Help Them Stay Connected: Helping individuals create a network of support can help them feel more
  5. Follow-up: Ongoing contact can help prevent death by suicide.

SupportLinc, provider of behavioral health services for Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, offers a variety of
resources, including in-the-moment phone support, coaching, counseling, online courses, videos, tip sheets
and articles, like its “Suicide Prevention Awareness.” Also, keep in mind that Supportlinc offers group
trainings that can be set up virtually on the topic of Mental Health First Aid. A version for managers and
supervisors as well as one geared toward employees is available.
To start utilizing SupportLinc’s services, call 888-881-5462 or log in to the SupportLinc website or
eConnect® mobile app (available in the App Store and on Google Play) with username “purdue.”

Recognize warning signs
An important part — the first step actually — of suicide prevention is recognizing the warning signs and
taking them seriously, as well as knowing how to respond to them. Warning signs of suicide include:
• Talking about suicide
• Looking for access to guns, pills, knives, etc.
• Having a preoccupation with death
• Sudden mood swings or personality changes
• Hopelessness
• Self-loathing/hatred
• Neglecting appearance
• Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
• Saying goodbye
• Withdrawal
• Self-destructive behavior

See the SupportLinc article, “Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior,” to learn more about warning signs and ways to help someone in need.

Mental Health First Aid — Purdue Extension has a team of certified facilitators of Mental Health First Aid (an eight-hour training to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis) able to bring this important, lifesaving course to your campus community, organization or department.
Additionally, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers many training resources as does the group Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), which provides tools to community leaders to help prevent suicide.

Get involved
During September, when the focus is on raising awareness for suicide prevention, it’s easier for individuals to join in to support those around them and in their communities. However, that support is needed all year long regardless of whether an individual is directly helping someone in need. There are many ways to get and stay involved. Share information about suicide and suicide prevention on social media to help reduce the associated stigma associated. Keep the dialogue going with family and friends about the need for increased awareness and support. Volunteer at a local crisis shelter or similar organization. Donate to agencies that work nonstop to provide support and services for individuals in need.

Suicide Prevention Resources
There are many suicide prevention resources available, including:

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline — The Lifeline provides 24-hour, confidential support to anyone insuicidal crisis or emotional distress. 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that
will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call or text 988 to connect with a trained
crisis counselor. Support is also available via live chat. More information about 988 is available here.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) — offers resources for suicide prevention for
anyone in need, including resources supporting diverse communities and the LGBTQ community.
American Psychiatric Association — has information on risk factors, warning signs, protective
factors and more.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – shares resources, facts, risk factors and more.
Indiana Suicide Prevention — provides a variety of resources and information.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) — offers resources to help, including fast facts, blogs,
personal stories and more.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) — shares action steps to help someone and more.
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) — shares multiple resources on suicide prevention.

SupportLinc provides additional educational resources as well, such as:
Flash Course: Suicide Awareness
How to Help a Co-Worker in Distress
Mental Health First Aid Toolkit
Signs of Emotional Health Concerns
Suicide Prevention Awareness
Suicide Prevention – info for supervisors
The Sorrow of Suicide: Awareness and Action Can Help Save a Life
Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior
World Suicide Prevention Day – Sept. 10
While suicide is a difficult topic to discuss, prevention starts with awareness. Whether you are struggling,
know someone who is having difficulty or have lost someone to suicide, National Suicide Prevention Month
provides the opportunity for acknowledgment and discussion about this public health concern. The resources
listed above and below are provided to help.

To assist faculty and staff
Review the “Mental Health Resources” webpage for a variety of available resources for faculty and staff,
including behavioral health resources for all Purdue campuses and information on Purdue’s health plan
coverage for mental health and substance abuse.