The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a nonprofit founded in 1987 which is the world’s largest private funder of suicide prevention research, has designated September National Suicide Prevention Month. Visit the AFSP website to find out about the many special events going on this month, including community walks across the country, aimed at spreading awareness and generating support for suicide prevention efforts.

Suicide is recognized by the both the CDC and the WHO as a serious public health issue. In 2020, suicide was the twelvth leading cause of death across all age groups in the US. Both organizations state that stigma around mental health issues is one of the biggest challenges in addressing the crisis. By breaking the silence around suicide and mental health treatment in general we can help create a world where those in need of help are not afraid to seek it.

Here at CarePaths we want to recognize our users and all mental health professionals for the important role they play preventing suicide. Whether by monitoring their patients’ risk through psychological assessments, providing short-term interventions during a suicidal crisis or engaging in a therapeutic relationship that ultimately addresses the root causes of suicidal ideation, therapists and psychiatrists are very often the first line of defense against this tragedy. It’s also important to remember the toll that caring for suicidal patients can take on therapists themselves, and to access some of the many available resources for self-care and preventing burnout among mental health providers.

Did you know that as of July 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline? Anyone in need of help can call or text 988 at any time, 24/7 to be connected to a trained crisis counselor. The former number, 1-800-273-8255, will still connect to the hotline. It is hoped that the new shorter number will be easier to remember and lead to more people receiving the support they need. You can learn more at 988lifeline.org.