TW: This post is about suicide.
As I wrote earlier this week, September is National Suicide Prevention Month in the US. This month is extremely important to me for many reasons, and I am not alone when I feel this. There are so many more people than you might think who are going through difficult moments and so many people who have dealt with these struggles on a daily basis or deal with them all the time. Last year I wrote about some of the resources I can turn to for suicide prevention, but thought I would update this list this year based on the current state of the world. I believe that there is still a lack of education and awareness when it comes to discussing suicide. So we must continue to share these resources as far and wide as possible.
One of the reasons that awareness may still be absent is that reaching out to someone when they are struggling with feelings of suicide is not that easy. Does this person have someone to reach out to? Even if you do this, do you feel comfortable enough? And if that person is comfortable, is the person reaching them ready / able to help? So many questions … and that’s just one of the many possible scenarios.
Whether you are the one who is struggling or you are helping someone who is struggling, everyone should be aware of the suicide prevention resources available – and there are more resources out there than ever before. Below are some links and descriptions to some of the more popular suicide prevention resources, websites, and phone numbers. Additionally, these organizations have updated their resources and information to include information about suicide prevention during COVID-19. If you have any questions about anything I have listed, let me know and we can talk about it!
Notable lifelines for suicide prevention
National lifeline for suicide prevention
Do you know this number. Save this number in your contacts. Put this number on your friends and loved ones’ phones. 1-800-273-8255. 1-800-273-8255. 1-800-273-8255. You should also know that EVERYONE can call this number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for FREE. The Lifeline offers “free and confidential support for people in need, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, as well as best practices for professionals”. However, this suicide prevention center offers many other resources than just the helpline – there is online chat when you can’t make a phone call, as well as dedicated resources for veterans, LGBTQ +, trial survivors, and other populations at risk.
Line of crisis text
Using the phone is not always the best option, and this is where the crisis line can help. If you send “TALK” to 741741 you can get one confidential text conversation with someone. The first priority for the Crisis Text line is to help people move from a hot moment to a cool calm and help you create a plan to stay safe and healthy. In fact, this line is used for all types of crises and more. More than 100 million text messages have been sent in the six years since its inception.
Resource Center for Suicide Prevention
The SPRC is the only resource center specifically for suicide prevention supported by the federal government and offers information on the best techniques and approaches for suicide prevention. This website is particularly useful for some training courses, including online courses and webinars. They also updated their resources to include post-COVID-19 suicide prevention and ways to deal with the coronavirus.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project was created specifically for suicide prevention among young people in the LGBTQ + community and offers a variety of free resources to provide immediate relief to those in need, including the Trevor Lifeline (1-866-488-7386), Trevor Chat, Trevor Text, and Trevor Space (all of which can be accessed from the Get Help Now page).
Veterans Crisis Line
Like many of the resources offered here, the Veterans Crisis Line offers a confidential hotline, online chat, and text support. Another important resource that this crisis line provides is that after a call or chat, you can be referred to a Suicide Prevention Coordinator at that person’s local VA medical center.
SAMHSA national helpline
In addition to providing more helpful assistance to people struggling with their mental health, substance abuse (or both) can also use the National Drug Abuse and Mental Health Agency (SAMHSA) hotline. The hotline indicates that calls are accepted in both English and Spanish.
The Trans Lifeline was founded in 2014 as a peer crisis support hotline. It is a “trans-led organization that connects trans people with the community, support and resources they need to survive and thrive.” Their peer support hotline (877-565-8860) is available in the US from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST and is operated for and by trans people.
* Another resource I want to mention is a Resources page that I found on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website. This page not only contains countless numbers on crisis lines, but also additional resources based on various mental illnesses. This site may offer a lot more help than me. That’s why I included it.
Talking about mental health isn’t easy. Talking about suicide can be even more difficult and complicated. But you are not alone. You are important. You are loved. And I hope and pray that you keep fighting.