National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month an opportunity to discuss warning signs, treatment and support

National Suicide Prevention Month

Advocacy groups aim to reduce stigma of discussing suicide

By Angela Cowan, MSW, LICSW • JFCS Counseling Manager

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Thoughts of suicide can impact anyone, regardless of age, race, socio-economic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, belief system, cultural identity — and yet, the topic of suicide is one that remains stigmatized. During National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, advocacy groups aim to talk openly about suicide, discuss warning signs, discuss treatment and support, and reduce stigma.  


The stigma surrounding suicide not only impacts individuals thinking about, planning, and/or acting on thoughts of suicide, but extends to those who have lost a loved one to suicide – making the grief even more painful and isolating.

Death by suicide can be unpredictable, and it may be hard to identify if someone is considering suicide. These are some warning signs to look out for:

  • Withdrawing from social contact
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Giving away belongings
  • Saying goodbyes to people as if they won’t be seen again
  • Pre-occupation with death
  • Making active statements such as “I’m going to kill myself” or passive statements such as “I wish I were dead”

If someone in your life displays any of these warning signs, it can be helpful to check in with them and even ask if they are having thoughts of suicide. This conversation could make it easier for them to reach out for help.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please dial 9-8-8 or text MN to 741 741 to speak with a mental health professional. You can also call the mental health crisis response phone number for your county, which can be found here.

If you are a survivor of suicide or have lost a loved one to suicide, SAVE provides support groups for anyone who has struggled with suicidal ideation or attempted suicide, and for anyone who has lost someone to suicide.

JFCS’ Counseling services include individual psychotherapy for adults, adolescents & children, couples therapy, play therapy, parenting coaching, grief support and more. Our services are confidential. We accept most insurance including Medicare. Click here to request an appointment.

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