September Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

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suicide prevention awareness month


Suicide Prevention Awareness Month occurs throughout the month of September. Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is an important time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic that is often hard to discuss. The subject of suicide may even be taboo in some cultures. All people can benefit from an honest, straightforward conversation about mental health conditions and suicide prevention.


Teal and Purple Pins Raise Awareness About Suicide Prevention

During the month of September’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Personalized Cause offers teal and purple awareness suicide prevention pins. We also offer teal and purple personalized suicide prevention awareness pins that can be engraved with a name, date, or message. This personalizes the need for suicide prevention. In addition, we call attention to suicide prevention with teal and purple fabric awareness ribbons. All three products are designed to raise suicide prevention awareness.

Rainbow, Teal and Purple Suicide Prevention Pin for the LGBTQ+ Community

This year, we introduced a new suicide prevention awareness pin, recognizing that 46.8% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students have serious thoughts of suicide. Further, transgender adults are nearly twelve times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. Personalized Cause created a specific pin to raise awareness about these statistics. Our rainbow, teal and purple awareness ribbon pins are available in both a personalized and non-personalized version. These pins call attention to and raise awareness of these statistics in an attempt to encourage conversation about suicide prevention in this vulnerable population.


New 988 Three-Digit Number for Suicide and Crisis Lifeline


As of July, 2022, “988” is the three-digit, nationwide phone number to connect directly to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. By calling or texting 988, or chatting, a caller is connected to mental health professionals with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. This suicide and crisis hotline was formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which was 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Veterans press the number 1 (one) after dialing 988 to connect directly to the Veterans Crisis Lifeline. This line serves US Veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and their caretakers, loved ones, or advocates. For texts, Veterans should continue to text to the Veterans Crisis Lifeline shortcode: 838255.


The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (988Lifeline on social media and the web) is the new name for the former National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is important to understand that 988 connects callers to more than just a “suicide” line. 988 is a service for anyone who is suicidal or experiencing a mental health- and/or substance use-related crisis.


If You or Someone you Know is in Danger or Needs Immediate Medical Attention, Call 911


The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, which was signed into law after the passage of bipartisan legislation in 2020, authorized 988 as a new three-digit number for suicide and mental health crisis. All telephone service and text providers in the United States and the five major US territories were required by the FCC to activate 988 no later than July 16, 2022.


Does the Number 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) Still Work?


Yes, using either number will get callers to the same services. In the end, 988 is an easier-to-remember way to access a strengthened and expanded network of crisis call centers.


What Happens When Someone Calls The 988 Number?


When calling 988, callers first hear a greeting message while their call is routed to the local Lifeline network crisis center (based on the caller’s area code). A trained crisis counselor answers the phone, listens to the caller, understands how their problem is affecting them, provides support, and shares resources if needed. If the local crisis center is unable to take the call, the caller is automatically routed to a national backup crisis center. The Lifeline provides live crisis center phone services in English and Spanish and uses Language Line Solutions to provide translation services in over 250 additional languages for people who call 988.


What Happens When Someone Texts The 988 Number?


When someone texts to 988, a group of Lifeline crisis centers answer both chats and texts. This service, currently available only in English, will expand over the next few years to increase local and state-level response. Once connected, a crisis counselor listens to the caller, works to understand how the problem is affecting the caller, provides support, and shares resources that may be helpful.


What Happens if a Caller Uses The Chat Function?


Chat, currently available only in English, is open 24/7 through Lifeline’s website at Those seeking services are provided with a pre-chat survey before connecting with a counselor, who identifies the main area of concern. If there is a wait to chat with a crisis counselor, a wait-time message appears. If demand is high, callers can access the Lifeline’s “helpful resources” section while waiting. Once connected, a crisis counselor listens to the caller, works to understand the problem, provides support, and shares helpful resources. If the caller is having trouble connecting to the chat service, they should instead call the Lifeline at 988. The busiest times for chat are between the hours of 10:00 pm EST and 2:00 am EST. Confidentiality and security of chats are ensured through the Lifeline chat software provider. The Lifeline chat software provider uses the same encryption and data protection standards required by major financial institutions to transact business with each other. All communications are securely encrypted.


Blind, Deaf, and Hard of Hearing Callers


The Lifeline currently serves TTY users either through their preferred relay service or by dialing 711, then 1-800-273-8255. Lifeline also offers services through chat and text. Lifeline is in the process of expanding to video phone service to better serve deaf and hard of hearing callers seeking help through Lifeline/988.


Suicide Statistics


Data from CDC, NIMH and other sources show that:

  • 78% of all people who die by suicide are male.
  • Even though more women than men attempt suicide, men are nearly four times more likely to die by suicide.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34, and the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.
  • The overall suicide rate in the United States has increased by 35% since 1999.
  • 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition.
  • While nearly half of all individuals who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental health condition, research shows that 90% experienced symptoms.


Suicide Demographics: Annual Prevalence of Serious Thoughts of Suicide


  • 4.8% of all adults
  • 11.8% of young adults aged 18-25
  • 18.8% of high school students
  • 46.8% of lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students. Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth. Transgender adults are nearly twelve times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
  • Some of the highest rates of suicide in the United States are among American Indian/Alaska Native and non-Hispanic white communities.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for people held in local jails.


These are only a few of the important reasons to take part in promoting Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Please share this information and encourage discussions with your community through social media and other forms of outreach. Your actions impact others during September’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. You may even save a life.


If you or Someone you Know is in Danger or Needs Immediate Medical Attention, call 911.

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