Suicide

More than 33,000 Americans die by suicide each year—the equivalent of one suicide every 16 minutes. There may be as many as 25 suicide attempts for every death by suicide. Suicide can be attempted by individuals of any age.  In fact, suicide is currently the third-leading cause of death among adolescents in the United States, and the fourth-leading cause among preteens. More than 15 percent of high school students report that they have seriously contemplated suicide, while even more experience thoughts about suicide at one time or another.  Furthermore, the highest suicide rate of any age group occurs among older adults (American Association of Suicidology, 2009).  One consideration for this is that as individuals grow older, they may experience one or more physical illnesses - and physical illness can increase an older adult’s risk for depression and/or suicidal ideation.

Indeed, the majority of individuals who attempt suicide have a diagnosable mental health condition such as depression, bipolar disorder, or substance dependence.  Research shows that older adults suffering from depression and/or experiencing suicidal thoughts are not likely to seek psychiatric care (Conwell, 1993). However, data indicates that older adults contemplating suicide may well have visited a primary care doctor but the signs and symptoms of suicide have gone unnoticed.  Suicide is preventable if such conditions are recognized and treated, and if warning signs are taken seriously. Indeed, former Surgeon General David Satcher (who issued the first National Strategy for Suicide Prevention) described several ways in which suicide could be prevented in his Call to Action to Prevent Suicide (1999).

Certain events in a person’s individual or family history can also put that person at increased risk of attempting suicide.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these risk factors - for any age - include:

Resource Organizations » Suicide » Chelmsford

In Massachusetts

Organizations with hotlines

Call2Talk

(508) 532-2255, TEXT C2T to 741741 (Crisis Text Line)

1-888-811-3291

Email: info@uwotc.org

Call2Talk is a confidential mental health and emotional support call line that assists individuals and families through stressful times in their lives, helping the despondent and those who may be suicidal. When calling Call2Talk, those who are struggling with mental health concerns have a safe place to call and will be encouraged to discuss their current experience. Some callers even talk openly about their thoughts of suicide and are in search of options.  By sharing their personal stories of tragedy, recovery, despair and grief, callers feel relief, comfort and hope.

Samaritans of Boston

Statewide Hotline: 877-870-4673 (call or text)

617-536-2460

Email: info@samaritanshope.org

Samaritans' purpose is to alleviate despair, isolation, distress and suicidal feelings among individuals in our community. Their mission is to educate the public about suicide prevention and reduce the stigma associated with suicide. The Samaritans provides a free and confidential 24-hour phone, which provides unconditional and non-judgemental support to those who are alone, depressed or in crisis. Samaritans also offers peer support services to those who have lost a loved one to suicide, including our SafePlace support groups in communities throughout greater Boston and Metrowest, and visits by trained Survivor to Survivor Network Volunteers. For a list of survivor support services, visit the website.

The Samaritans of Merrimack Valley

1-866-9012-HOPE (4673)

978-327-6671 (Direct line for Staff)

978-327-6600 (office)

Email: Info@fsmv.org

The Samaritans of Merrimack Valley was formed in 1980 by three local school teachers in response to an increase in the rate of teen suicide. The organization set out as a small group of volunteers aiming to reduce the incidence of suicide in the Merrimack Valley by providing “befriending” to individuals who were lonely, depressed and contemplating suicide or self-injury. Suicide prevention remains one of the primary goals of the Samaritans. In 2004, the Samaritans of Merrimack Valley joined Family Service, Inc., which now provides financial and administrative support to the Samaritans. Suicide prevention remains the primary goal of the Samaritans.The Samaritans of Merrimack Valley is also dedicated to supporting individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide. The Samaritans offers individual and group support to survivors to facilitate a healthy grieving process and help individuals come to terms with their loss. Samaritans staff and volunteers provide educational support for schools, businesses, youth and senior centers, civic organizations, faith-based institutions, and volunteer groups. Samaritans provides information to help the audience identify individuals who may be at risk, to educate them so that they can talk with a person at-risk, and to provide resources for those at risk. The Samaritans provide a crisis helpline, survivor services, outreach & education among other services.

Organizations without hotlines

Berkshire Coalition for SUICIDE PREVENTION

Email: info@berkshirecoalition.org

Our mission is to save lives. Together we can build resilience in our community, educate the public and strengthen the response to community need. The Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention was formed to address the higher than state average rates for self-harm and suicide here in Berkshire County. The mission of BCSP is to save lives. Together we can build resilience in our community, educate the public, and strengthen the response to community need. Please see our News and Events Pages for more information about our organization.
Who We Are: Volunteers from the health sector and law enforcement, educators and students, community organizers, social workers, mental health providers, policy makers, survivors of suicide loss and concerned citizens
What We Do To Help: EDUCATE about risk factors for suicide & self harm. ASSIST populations identified as being at-risk. REDUCE stigma and break barriers to self-help. PARTNER with schools, agencies, and providers. SECURE funding from public and private sources. ADVOCATE for public policy issues & budgets.
BCSP holds public events for suicide prevention fundraising, support groups, presentations and trainings. If you would like to become involved, see their local events page for more information http://berkshirecoalition.org/localevents/ .

Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention

Crisis Line: 800-273-8255

Email: info@masspreventssuicide.org

The Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention is a broad based inclusive alliance of suicide prevention advocates, including public and private agency representatives, policy makers, suicide survivors, mental health and public health consumers and providers and concerned citizens committed to working together to reduce the incidence of self-harm and suicide in the Commonwealth.

Since 1999, the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention (MCSP) has been working to bring about awareness and mobilize community action in response to the public health crisis of suicide in the Commonwealth, a tragedy that claims more lives in the state than homicide and HIV/AIDS.

The MCSP seeks to serve as a bridge between those on the front lines of suicide prevention and local communities seeking to make their communities safe and healthy.

 

MassMen

MassMen.org is a comprehensive resource for Massachusetts men and their loved ones, offering statewide mental health information, resources, and online self-assessments. Online self-assessments are provided for free and are available anytime through Screening for Mental Health, Inc.

Now Matters Now

Have you had thoughts of suicide? Emotions and problems that have felt unsolvable? Now Matters Now offers stories and specific skills to use to not only survive, but to build more manageable and meaningful lives. This online video-based program includes real people who teach specific coping skills, like mindfulness, paced-breathing and opposite action. This website is available for those struggling with suicidal thoughts and skills are based on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

SANS - See A New Sun Foundation

Email: info@4sans.org

SANS was founded in 2002 by a group of concerned citizen bound by the shared tragedy of a loved one lost to suicide. Our mission is simple, prevent suicide. We believe education is the key to prevention so we are currently focusing our efforts on advocacy and funding for school based suicide and mental health education programs. SANS is unique in that it is the only suicide prevention organization of its kind. SANS works directly with school administrators to fund suicide prevention programs and to bring down the suicide stigma within secondary schools.

SANS primarily operate at a grass-roots level, working with schools, churches, and local organizations to raise awareness of the true nature of suicide and in turn giving organizations the tools to prevent suicide. The SOS program (developed by Screening For Mental Health) has been the main program which SANS funds in the schools. Since SANS started its necessary work it has successfully reported multiple incidents of prevented suicides and represents hundreds of grateful recipients of our programs.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

877-438-7772

Email: info@sprc.org

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. SPRC is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) under grant no. 1U79SM062297 and is located at Education Development Center, Inc. SPRC provides technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide. We promote collaboration among a variety of organizations in the field of suicide prevention.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness - Veteran and Service Member Resources

617-580-8541

Toll Free: 800-370-9085 (M-F 9am-5pm)

Fax: 617-580-8673

Email: info@namimass.org

The National Alliance on Mental Illness maintains a helpline for information on mental illnesses and referrals to local groups. The local self-help groups have support and advocacy components and offer education and information about community services for diverse communities comprising of LGBTQ individuals, veterans, active duty military members, teens, young adults, older adults and families. Local chapters can be found through the main website. For information about the Alliance's affiliates and activities in MA, contact NAMI Massachusetts.

What Happens Now?

Life after suicidal thinking. A project for the American Association of Suicidology. This is the first organizational site to share the voices of suicide attempt survivors and anyone who's had suicidal thinking. The website not only includes the experiences of those who have had suicidal thinking or have survived an attempt, but also includes resources about finding support groups for survivors as well as guidelines for those considering disclosing past suicidal thinking to others. The project has recently ended but the website contains current and active resources to utilize for the prevention of suicide.

 

Outside Massachusetts

Organizations with hotlines

Crisis Text Line

Text START: 741-741
Email: support@crisistextline.org

Crisis Text Line serves young people in any type of crisis, providing them access to free, 24/7, emotional support and information they need via the medium they already use and trust: text. Just text "START" to 741-741. Here's how it works:

  • A teen texts into CTL anywhere, anytime.
  • A live, trained specialist receives the text and responds quickly.
  • The specialist helps the teen stay safe and healthy with effective, secure counseling and referrals through text message using CTL's platform.

CTL partners with existing organizations that are experienced, highly trained, and well-equipped to respond to teens in crisis: experienced crisis centers, youth-serving organizations, and experts in the youth and mental health fields. CTL also lists resources on a variety of topics with helplines or email addresses where they can learn about additional support.

HopeLine

(call or text) 919-231-4525 or 877-235-4525

919-832-3326 (office)

Email: director@hopeline-nc.org

 HopeLine is an organization originally founded by a group of concerned local citizens. In 1970, through local research, they determined that Wake County needed a confidential telephone service for people in crisis to call. HopeLine offers a free crisis service via phone or text and makes referrals to appripriate services. HelpLine also produces many community programs on the helpline itself as well as training on how to recognize signs of distress and appropriate services within the community. Volunteers also run a free reassurance program for senior citizens and those who are disabled consisting of telephone calls as well as crisis counseling.

Kristin Brooks Hope Center

1-800-442-HOPE (4673)

1-800-784-2433

Email: info@imalive.org

Kristin Brooks Hope Center is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization the focuses on suicide prevention, awareness and education. This organization provides help and hope through college campus and high school events, online suicide crisis chat, suicide crisis hotlines and other educational programs.  The Hope Center offers the first networked Hopeline helping to coordinate efforts of over 200 crisis centers across the country.  In addition, they support IMAlive, the world’s first virtual crisis center, that welcomes volunteers from all over the world. If one needs support, they can call their crisis hotline, or connect with them to chat with an experienced volunteer.

National Runaway Safeline

Hotline: 1-800-786-2929

773-880-9860 (Office)

Email: communications@1800runaway.org

The mission of the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) is to help keep America’s runaway, homeless and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. We are the federally-designated national communication system (hotline and website) for runaway and homeless youth. Youth and family members call 24 hours a day to work through problems and find local help from social service agencies and organizations. Some callers just need someone to talk to, others need help finding a shelter, food, medical assistance, or counseling. Some callers are on the streets, others are struggling with other issues and we work with them to identify options to prevent them from leaving their home, when possible and if appropriate.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

toll-free: 800-273-8255, en espanol: 888-628-9454, for deaf & hard of hearing: 800-799-4889

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis. If you need help, please dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will be routed to the closest possible crisis center in your area. With more than 130 crisis centers across the country, our mission is to provide immediate assistance to anyone seeking mental health services. Call for yourself, or someone you care about. Your call is free and confidential. Para obtener asistencia en espanol durante las 24 horas, llame al 1-888-628-9454. A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

NFL Life Line

Hotline: (800) 506-0078

In 2012, the National Football League provided a grant to establish the NFL Life Line for members of the NFL family—current and former NFL players, coaches, team and league staff, and their family members who may be in crisis. The NFL Life Line is a free, confidential, and independently operated resource that connects callers with trained counselors who can help individuals work through any personal or emotional crisis. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In addition to operating the hotline, the NFL Life Line website includes resources for anyone connected with the NFL previously or currently, including resources about seeking support, career transitions and neurocognitive assessment.

The Trevor Project

866-488-7386

310-271-8845

212-695-8650

1-202-304-1200 (Text Line)

Email: info@thetrevorproject.org

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.  In addition to providing a 24/7 national crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ youth, the organization also provides TrevorChat, a free confidential, secure instant messaging service available from 3-9pm ET, and TrevorText, where youth can text a trained Trevor counselor for support and crisis intervention on Fridays from 4-8pm at 202-304-1200.

Trans Lifeline

(877) 565-8860 , Canada (877) 330-6366

(415) 483-5361

Email: contact@translifeline.org

This line is primarily for transgender people experiencing a crisis. This includes people who may be struggling with their gender identity and are not sure that they are transgender. While our goal is to prevent self-harm, we welcome the call of any transgender person in need. We will do our very best to connect them with services that can help them meet that need. If you are not sure whether you should call or not, then please call us.

Veterans Crisis Line

Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 ext 1, For deaf & hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889

Text: 838255

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans or Active Duty service members in crisis, and their families and friends, with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Many of the responders are Veterans themselves and understand what Veterans and their families and friends have been through and the challenges Veterans of all ages and service eras face. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

Organizations without hotlines

American Association of Suicidology

(202) 237-2280

The American Association of Suicidology works to promote the understanding and prevention of suicide and support those who have been affected by it.  This organization provides training for a diverse audience from primary care practitioners, to students, and school staff.  This organization applies research in developing and disseminating strategies that reduce the incidence and prevalence of suicidal behaviors as well as compiling, developing, evaluating and disseminating accurate information about suicidal behaviors to the public.  In addition to their research, training and prevention efforts, the AAS also has information for those who have survived suicide attempts, or those who are suicide loss survivors.  Their website includes a list of finding support groups for suicide loss survivors in their area.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

1-888-333-AFSP (2377)

(212) 363-3500

Email: info@afsp.org

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention compiles resources for survivors of suicide loss.  The resources include books, poetry, and inspirational writing for children, adolescents, and adults.  AFSP also comples a newsletter and comments on current and relevant media topics.

Best Grief Books

650-793-0868

Email: info@bestgriefbooks.com

Stories are how we make sense of the world. When you read a book, watch a movie or listen to an audio—you expand your potential for healing.

Books, movies and audios help:

  • Unlock hidden feelings

  • Encourage insight and self-awareness

  • Stimulate dialogue

  • Provide reassurance

  • Offer hope

  • Promote continuity between sessions

Child Mind Institute

212-308-3118

The Child Mind Institute is an independent nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. The  team works every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most.

Freedom From Fear

(718) 351-1717

Email: help@freedomfromfear.org

Freedom From Fear is a national not-for-profit mental health advocacy association. The mission of FFF is to impact, in a positive way, the lives of all those affected by anxiety, depressive and related disorders through advocacy, education, research and community support. There is plenty of information on anxiety and depression along with self-screening tools for these conditions, referrals for support groups and mental health professionals, and resources on accessing treatment for those with and without health insurance. This website contains valuable information based on research findings on anxiety and depressive illnesses and the treatments that work.
 

International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)

Suicide and non-fatal suicidal behaviour are major public health problems across the world. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that approximately one million people worldwide die by suicide each year. This corresponds to one death by suicide every 40 seconds. The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined. Suicide attempts and suicidal ideation are far more common; for example, the number of suicide attempts is up to 20 times the number of deaths by suicide.

On this organization's website one can find IASP newsletters and other publications, information about their Special Interest Groups, and Congresses, all dedicated to suicide and self-injury prevention locally and throughout the world.

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) is dedicated to:

  • preventing suicidal behaviour,
  • alleviating its effects, and
  • providing a forum for academics, mental health professionals, crisis  workers, volunteers and suicide survivors

Man Therapy

Man Therapy is giving men a resource they desperately need: a resource to help men understand the realities of suicide and mental health, in the hopes of helping put a stop to the suicide deaths of so many. This interactive website featuring "Dr. Rich Mahogany" provides psychoeducational information geared towards men about stress, anger, depression, substance abuse and suicide, as well as tools to manage these concerns. It also includes an "18 point head inspection" where men can take a survey about how they are coping, and there is a provider search screen with options from groups and active activities to lists of professional counselors.

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

202-572-3737

Email: info@ActionAllianceforSuicidePrevention.org

As our nation pulls together and focuses on our individual and collective roles in suicide prevention, we can develop effective strategies to prevent suicide and its devastating aftermath. Everyone has a role to play. A public health approach considers long-term prevention strategies, as well as crisis responses. It leverages large systems changes and targets specific vulnerable populations who are at higher risk. 

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) will ensure a sustained, nationwide public health effort, as it implements the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention to accomplish the ultimate goal of eliminating the tragic experience of suicide.

National Institute of Mental Health

1-866-615-6464 (toll-free)

1-301-443-8431 (TTY)

1-866-415-8051 (TTY toll-free)

Email: nimhinfo@nih.gov

NIMH, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) , funds and conducts research to help answer important scientific questions about mental illnesses. Though research, NIMH works to determine what is promising, what helps and why, what doesn’t work, and what is safe. NIMH also communicates with scientists, patients, providers, and the general public about the science of mental illnesses based on the latest research. 

Suicide is a major public health concern. Over 41,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States; it is the 10th leading cause of death  overall. Suicide is tragic. But it is often preventable. Knowing the risk factors for suicide and who is at risk can help reduce the suicide rate.

Project Semicolon

1-866-707-3177

Email: michael@projectsemicolon.com

"Project Semicolon is an organization devoted to the prevention of suicide. Our work is based on the foundation and belief that suicide is preventable and everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. Through raising public awareness, educating communities, and equipping every person with the right tools, we know we can save lives."

 

This organization also provides information and resources about other mental health topics and disorders as well as the chance to share one's own story, personal screenings tools, and helps one find services right on their website.

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE)

952-946-7998

The mission of SAVE is to prevent suicide through public awareness and education, reduce stigma and serve as a resource to those touched by suicide. SAVE's prevention and education programs are designed to increase knowledge about depression, other brain illnesses and the need for assessment and treatment as suicide prevention; increase knowledge about symptoms of depression and the warning signs of suicidal thinking and behavior; increase understanding and the use of intervention skills that can help avoid the tragedy of suicide; and increase knowledge about community resources and how to access and use them. The SAVE website includes information about the symptoms of depression and the signs that someone is suicidal, as well as tools for survivors coping with the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Survivors of Suicide Loss

(619) 482-0297 (Support Line)

(619) 752-4055 (Office Line)

Email: info@SOSLsd.org

SOSL reaches out to and supports those that have lost a loved one to suicide. Our goal is to give survivors a place where they can be comfortable expressing themselves, a place to find support, comfort, resources and hope in a judgment-free environment.

Currently, SOSL is earnestly involved in educating the community about suicide and its effect on surviving family and friends ‐ providing information about grief‐related services. From its inception, the SOSL group goal has been to provide a relaxed, caring environment of mutual support and understanding in which to give comfort and help to one another ‐ a place to regain our sense of hope for future happiness.

 

The Balanced Mind Parent Network

Helpline for Resource and Referral: 800-826-3632

312-642-0049

Email: helpline@thebalancedmind.org

The Balanced Mind Parent Network (BMPN), a program of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), guides families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support and stability they seek. The Balanced Mind Foundation envisions a world where children living with mood disorders thrive because their families have the resources, community and support they need.

Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

800-232-4636

TTY 888-232-6348

Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov

Violence is a serious public health problem in the United States. From infants to the elderly, it affects people in all stages of life. In 2005, more than 18,000 people were victims of homicide and more than 32,000 took their own life. The number of violent deaths tells only part of the story. Many more survive violence and are left with permanent physical and emotional scars. Violence also erodes communities by reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services. This CDC website includes information on a variety of topics related to violence prevention, including youth violence, relationship violence, and suicide.