Know The facts

It's Time to Start talking about suicide

According to the World Health Organization, for every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population.

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According to the Kansas Health Institute, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Kansas youths age 15-24 in 2016-2020.

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Did You Know?

Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year.

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Risk Factors

  • Vulnerable groups who experience discrimination, such as migrants; indigenous peoples; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) persons; and prisoners
  • Prior suicide attempt(s)
  • Misuse and abuse of alcohol or other drugs
  • Mental disorders, particularly depression and other mood disorders
  • Access to lethal means
  • Knowing someone who died by suicide, particularly a family member
  • Social isolation
  • Chronic disease and disability
  • Lack of access to behavioral health care
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    Protective Factors

  • Connections to individuals, family, community, and social institutions
  • Life skills (e.g., problem-solving and coping skills, ability to adapt to change)
  • Self-esteem and a sense of purpose or meaning in life
  • Cultural, religious, or personal beliefs that discourage suicide

    Immediate Risks

    • Talking about wanting to die
    • Looking for a way to kill oneself or a making a plan
    • Talking about feeling hopeless and having no reason to live

    Serious Risks

    • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
    • Talking about being a burden to others
    • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
    • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
    • Sleeping too little or too much
    • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
    • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
    • Displaying extreme mood swings

    Suicide Prevention

    1. ASK: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question, but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.
    2. KEEP THEM SAFE: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means can make a difference.
    3. BE THERE: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.
    4. HELP THEM CONNECT: Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) and the Crisis Text Line’s number (741741) in your phone, so it’s there when you need it. You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.
    5. STAY CONNECTED: Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.


    988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available to help support those struggling with suicide ideation and more. 

    7 Cups Need someone to talk to? Counselors and listeners are available for FREE emotional support.

    The Jason Foundation offers a FREE smartphone app “A Friend Asks” that provides information, tools, and resources to help a friend (or yourself) who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide.

    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides suicide education, personal stories, and a variety of resources for suicide support.

    The Trevor Project offers support to the LGBTQ+ Community. Crisis counselors are trained to answer calls, chats, or texts from LGBTQ young people who are struggling with issues such as coming out, LGBTQ identity, depression, and suicide.

    Coping After Suicide (CAS) support group offers suicide bereavement support to individuals, couples and families. CAS provides training and education for different platforms.

    The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) provides information on suicide prevention, training, and effective planning. 

    Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) was one of the nation’s first organizations dedicated to the prevention of suicide. Their work is based on the foundation and belief that suicide is preventable and everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide.