images-1In 2017, 14 out of every 100,000 Americans died by suicide. On average, there are 129 suicides per day in the U.S. As the 10th leading cause of death, suicide is a major public health concern that impacts individuals, families and communities.

APHA is supporting suicide prevention during September, which is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. A public health approach to suicide prevention works to reduce the factors that increase the likelihood of suicide and uplift factors that protect against it.

In 2017, firearms were the most common method of death by suicide, accounting for more than half of all suicide deaths. Access to a firearm, especially during a time of increased risk for suicide — such as after a divorce or job loss — is a key factor increasing the risk for completing suicide.

Reducing mental health stigma and ensuring that everyone has access to care also play a role in suicide prevention.

To share suicide prevention resources and graphics during this month’s observance, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness. For more facts, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s suicide prevention page. And visit the APHA gun violence page for other resources and information.

If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 to speak to a counselor, or chat online using Lifeline Chat.