Suicide Prevention: Get Involved
Did you know
- Missouri ranks 16th in the nation in its rate of reported suicides (2011).
- The suicide rate in Missouri in 2011 was 15.5 per 100,000 citizens compared to the national rate of 12.7.
- Suicide ranks among the top four leading causes of death for Missourians between the ages of 10 and 54.
- In 2011, there were 921 suicides in Missouri, or an average of one suicide every 9 hours and 31 minutes.
- Youth ages 15-19 have the highest hospitalized attempt rate of any age group in Missouri.
The staff of the Missouri Suicide Prevention Project at DMH has prepared the following list of simple things that people can do to become more involved in suicide prevention.
Things That You Can Do to Advance Suicide Prevention Efforts
- Learn the warning signs and how to help someone in crisis. Download and distribute copies of “Understanding and Helping the Suicidal Person” from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS).
- Learn more about survivor support and advocacy options at the survivor sections of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and AAS websites.
- Apply to be a Field Liaison with the Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN) USA. The program seeks to recruit 435 Field Liaisons, one for every U.S. Congressional district, to help coordinate prevention and advocacy efforts.
- Organize a depression screening day in schools or work places. To register for online or telephone screening, and for news releases and fact sheets on depression, visit the National Depression Screening Day website.
- Volunteer at a local crisis hotline. Call a hotline in your area to sign up for their next training session.
- Explore the SPRC website. The national Suicide Prevention Resource Center has a large collection of resources including their customized information series, information on evidence-based practices, and various other publications such as their recent fundraising guide. Get started by reviewing their publications page. While you are there, subscribe to their “Weekly Spark” newsletter.
- Spread the word about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Let all referring agencies in your community know that the Lifeline is available to call for suicide intervention, and notify local service providers, including emergency dispatch centers and telephone operators, to direct callers to 1-800-273-TALK for help. Visit their website to learn more about the Lifeline, how to link to their website, and order free promotional material such as magnets, wallet cards and posters.
- Download and read the book “SUICIDE: The Forever Decision, For those Thinking about Suicide and for Those who Know, Love and Counsel Them” by Paul Quinnett, Ph.D. which is available in a free electronic format through the QPR Institute.
- Borrow materials related to suicide prevention from the MIMH Library or the ParentLink Loan Library.
- Gain community input by holding a public forum on suicide and mental health issues. Invite advocates, mental health professionals, media, school personnel, health care providers, etc. or attend a local community coalition meeting.
- Inform the media that they play a powerful role in educating the public about suicide prevention. Urge all print, radio and TV media to read At-a-Glance: Safe Reporting on Suicide.
- Distribute copies of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP) or the summary version.
- Enroll in a free online training course at: the SPRC Training Institute, EndingSuicide.com or The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide.
- Help organize and schedule an ASIST or safeTALK workshop for your group or community. For more information visit LivingWorks or the DMH training page.
- Visit the DMH website to find a copy of the state plan, links to other websites, information on upcoming events, or to sign up for the “Suicide Prevention in Missouri” listserv.
- Send a message of thanks to the local volunteers, trainers, and support group facilitators in your community to let them know that the important work they do is appreciated.
Please feel share this list with co-workers, friends, and family.