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Prevent Suicide @ 1-800-273-8255

September 21, 2017

HRSA Deputy Administrator Diana Espinosa spoke out against bullying at a Sept. 12 observance of National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. -- with a fatality every 13 minutes and more than one million attempts per year.

"This event is about our commitment to support each other, to learn about resources available nationally and here in our own building to help us care for our loved ones, our friends and ourselves."  -Diana Espinosa

Suicide prevention awareness gained national attention last month at the MTV Video Music Awards. Rap phenom Logic of Gaithersburg, MD performed his anthemic, "1-800-273-8255," while sharing the stage with dozens of suicide survivors. The song has boosted calls to SAMHSA's National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to near-record highs since its release in April. The mental health agency funds 160 crisis centers nationwide, and Espinosa reported that HRSA health centers have begun developing screening protocols. The video got an enthusiastic response at the Sept. 12 cross-agency gathering.

Zero Suicides Now: From left, Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, HHS Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, noted that “one in seven adults in the U.S. struggle with serious thoughts of suicide and have made at least one suicide attempt”;  Eileen Zeller (SAMHSA) and Alex Ross (HRSA); RADM Chris Buchanan (IHS) spoke about the threat of suicide among Indian youth; Savannah Kalman (SAMSHA) implored HHS staff to get involved in suicide prevention training and observed that most suicides are preceded by subtle cues and verbal messages from the person suffering.

SAMHSA’s first Zero Suicide initiative grants were awarded during Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 11-16), with the goal of promoting prevention practices and screening within health systems, hospitals and clinics for those 25 and older -- as most victims seek health care during the year preceding an attempt to take their lives

Learn more about suicide prevention, including suicide warning signs, populations at risk for suicide, and suicide prevention find tips, tools and resources.

Date Last Reviewed:  October 2017

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