#BeThere to Help Prevent Suicide
Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities.
A CDC study showed that a range of factors contribute to suicide among those with and without known mental health conditions. Everyone can help prevent suicide by knowing the warning signs and where to get help.
Suicide is a public health problem because of its far-reaching effects:
- Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. It was responsible for nearly 46,000 deaths in 2020.
- In 2020, an estimated 12.2 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million made a plan for suicide, and 1.2 million attempted suicide.
- People who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence are at higher risk for suicide.
- While 2020 data show a 3% overall decline in suicide rates since 2019, the pandemic has increased many risk factors for suicide, such as social isolation and barriers to physical and mental healthcare, so we must remain vigilant with our prevention efforts.
Individual, relationship, community, and societal factors may influence the risk of suicide. Know the suicide warning signs including:
- Feeling like a burden
- Being isolated
- Increased anxiety
- Feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Increased substance use
- Looking for a way to access lethal means
- Increased anger or rage
- Extreme mood swings
- Expressing hopelessness
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Talking or posting about wanting to die
- Making plans for suicide
CDC has developed a technical package, Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practicespdf icon [PDF 6 MB, 62 Pages] that provides the best available evidence for suicide prevention. Also available in Spanishpdf icon [PDF 34 MB, 64 Pages].
The technical package informs a comprehensive, multi-level and multi-sectoral approach within communities and states.
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
- Use the online Lifeline Crisis Chatexternal icon.
Both are free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.
For more information, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon.
Safeguard the people in your life from the risk of suicide and support them:
- Keep them safe.
- Be there.
- Help them connect. You can start with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).
- Follow up.
Find out how these actions can save a life by visiting www.BeThe1To.comexternal icon.
Everyone can play a part in preventing suicide!
- CDC: Suicide Prevention
- CDC: Disparities in Suicide
- CDC’s Suicide Prevention Fact Sheet pdf icon
- CDC: Mental Health
- WISQARS Data Visualization of Suicide Data
- National Action Alliance for Suicide Preventionexternal icon
- Suicide Prevention Resource Centerexternal icon
- Recommendations for Media Reporting on Suicideexternal icon