SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH
Resources for Everyone
Montgomery, Ala. – Every one of us has a role to play in preventing suicide. September is National Suicide Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about suicide. The Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH), its community partners, and other mental health organizations collaborate each year to provide hope, encouragement, and vital information to individuals and families affected by suicide.
Suicidal thoughts can arise in anyone, regardless of age, gender, or social condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among all ages in the U.S. and the second most common cause of death among young adults ages 10-34. Alabama had 821 reported suicides in 2021.
Help is available, and you are not alone in your emotional distress. For free confidential support 24/7, call or text 988 to be connected to a trained counselor. There are four 988 call centers now located in Alabama. Learn more here.
Additionally, to promote and educate about suicide prevention, ADMH developed the “No Shame” suicide prevention campaign, which addresses the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness. Suicide is preventable, and we can help minimize suicide in our communities and society by recognizing the warning signs, discussing our thoughts, encouraging prevention and resilience, eliminating stigma, and committing to social change.
As a part of the Alabama Crisis System of Care, Crisis Centers are tailored to the specific needs of each community they serve. Crisis services are available to meet the needs of individuals, including emotional distress and suicide. There are currently four crisis centers: WellStone (Huntsville, Alabama); AltaPointe Health (Mobile, Alabama); Carastar (Montgomery, Alabama); and JBS Craig Crisis Center (Birmingham, Alabama). Two additional crisis centers are scheduled to open later in the year, SpectraCare (Dothan, Alabama); Indian Rivers (Tuscaloosa, Alabama).
Suicide rates among veterans are particularly high. Compared to Americans who have never served in the armed forces, veterans are at 1.5 times the risk of dying by suicide. Female veterans are at an even higher risk, with a risk factor of 2.2 times higher than male veterans. In 2021 alone, 143 Alabama veterans died by suicide.
The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) provides resources and services in collaboration with ADMH to Veterans in Crisis. As a part of its outreach efforts, “Operation We Remember” honors and remembers the veterans in Alabama who lost their lives to suicide, and “Alabama’s Challenge: Veteran Suicide Prevention” is long-term effort to reduce the stigma associated with mental illnesses across the state. It also promotes suicide prevention and awareness through monthly town hall sessions for veterans and their families. Veterans for Hope provides support for veterans, friends, and family members by offering mental health resources and warning signs to help identify a Veteran in crisis. If you’re a veteran or service member and in crisis, please press 1 after calling 988 or call the Veterans Crisis Line for help.
During Suicide Prevention Month, please join the Alabama Department of Mental Health and our community partners in spreading hope and encouraging prevention.