Skip to content
Find a Provider
The National Council logo

Suicide Prevention

If you believe you or someone in your life may be suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak to a counselor, or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The Lifeline is confidential, free, and available 24/7 across the United States.

Crisis Centers are Critical

In 2018, the National Council for Behavioral Health and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline administered a survey to crisis centers across the U.S. to provide perspective on the feasibility of a national three-digit mental health crisis line. While a dedicated support line for those in crisis could provide an important resource, the survey revealed that lack of funding and limited staff capacity are the biggest barriers to implementation.

 “[A national three-digit number for mental health crisis response and suicide] is absolutely needed as we need to draw more attention to mental health in the community. We need to decrease the stigma and give people an option for a quick resource that is easy to remember.”

– Crisis Services Survey respondent

View the Crisis Services Survey Report, and follow the conversation @NationalCouncil.

The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 150 local crisis centers that provide 24/7, free, and confidential support for people in distress. Because these centers are local, the Lifeline is able to route callers to counselors at a center closest to their area code, as well as provide referrals to resources in their area. Centers also provide additional mental health and support services for their local communities in addition to their work with the Lifeline.

Crisis centers need your support.

Lifeline crisis centers are primarily funded on the state and local level. Some states lack resources to answer calls locally, causing national back-up centers to answer approximately 30% of all calls. This leads to longer wait times and fewer links to the best local care in those states.

But you can help. Contact your local Lifeline crisis center and find out how you can volunteer or donate to support their life-saving work.

2015 Crisis Services Survey

In 2015, the National Council surveyed 2,300 member organizations to collect information and learn more about the crisis services provided in the United States, and to learn about the needs of the community mental health center programs that provide crisis services.

View the 2015 Crisis Services Survey results.

Suicide is Preventable

Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. For every person who dies by suicide, there are 278 individuals annually who think seriously about suicide but do not die.

You can help someone in crisis.

You don’t have to be a medical or mental health professional to help someone with thoughts of suicide. The 5 #BeThe1To action steps form a blueprint to guide you through helping someone in your life that may be in suicidal crisis.

You can be the one to save a life. Learn more at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected to local resources.

Suicide in the United States

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Each year, over 44,000 Americans die by suicide, and for every suicide, 25 will attempt.

There is no single cause for suicide. However, there are identified risk factors that make it more likely that someone will consider suicide.

Some warning signs may also help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to painful event or change.

Download the one pager.


Resources:

Find local prevention resources in your community and state.