Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Highlights Tips and Resources to Prevent Suicide During National Awareness Month in September

New National Data Shows U.S. Suicide Rates Were at an All-Time High Last Year with Nearly 50,000 Deaths by Suicide

Culver City, California, Sept. 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EDITORS NOTE: Click HERE FOR PRESS KIT

For National Suicide Prevention Month this year, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services is sharing the risk factors, warning signs and supportive resources to remind individuals that suicide is preventable. Didi Hirsch is home to the nation’s first Suicide Prevention Center and serves as the lead agency for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in California in collaboration with 11 other regional crisis centers.

“Suicide remains a public health crisis impacting communities across the country, but there is hope,” said Lyn Morris, LMFT and CEO of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. “Research shows that suicide can be prevented in many cases, and anyone can take action to help a person who may be struggling. While organizations like Didi Hirsch are always here to help, family and friends can provide critical support to loved ones if they know what to look for and speak up when they do.”

Suicide is a leading cause of death and affects people of all backgrounds, ages and ethnicities. It is a complex issue with no single cause. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that suicide rates increased approximately 36 percent between 2000 and 2021. Rates of suicide also increased by 2.6 percent between 2021 and 2022, according to the CDC.

Warning Signs to Know for Suicide Prevention
Warning signs for someone who may be struggling with suicidal ideation can include: 

  • talking about feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, being a burden, feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain;
  • discussing, mentioning, threatening or planning suicide;
  • changes in behavior;
  • increased use of alcohol or drugs;
  • giving away possessions;
  • despairing texts or posts on social media;
  • social withdrawal or isolation;
  • signs of significant depression, irritability or anxiety; and
  • feelings of failure or shame.

How to Support Someone in Crisis
If someone you know is experiencing any of these warning signs, there are things anyone can do to support them, including: 

  • Ask directly if they are thinking about suicide, listening to their answers and taking them seriously;
  • Be there and find out what and who they believe will be the most effective sources of help;
  • Help keep them safe by establishing an immediate safety plan;
  • Help them connect with resources and encourage them to contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline via call, text or chat;
  • Contact 988 yourself for support and guidance on how to help someone; and
  • Follow up with them to see how they are doing.

Suicide Prevention Resources from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center provides a variety of supportive services, including individual therapy to help those who are struggling with depression, anxiety and/or severe stress, as well as suicide-specialized therapy and support groups for individuals and families with thoughts of suicide, attempts or loss. Additional crisis care services include new support groups for healthcare professionals and first responders. Individuals across California can access these services in person or via telehealth. Visit www.crisiscare.org for more information.

For youth mental health there is Teen Line, a program of Didi Hirsch, which is a national crisis and support hotline that connects youth with highly trained teen counselors who provide confidential peer support and mental health resources. Trained teen volunteers known as “listeners” help teens clarify and validate their concerns, explore coping skills and find resources to help. Youth can contact Teen Line by calling 800-852-8336, texting 839863, or by email at teenline.org/email-us.

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is Helping Prevent Suicide
The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides confidential support 24/7 for people experiencing a mental health, substance use or suicidal crisis, connecting them with trained crisis counselors via call, chat and text in both English and Spanish. Individuals can reach out for support even if they are not experiencing an immediate crisis to receive emotional support. 

Data shows more individuals are reaching out for help and contacting 988 than ever before. Didi Hirsch is California’s lead agency for 988 and partners with 11 other crisis centers to answer contacts across the state. Data from Didi Hirsch shows that California answers more 988 calls, chats and texts than any other state. Didi Hirsch is also one of the designated crisis centers in the U.S. answering 988 contacts in Spanish with its highly-trained bilingual crisis counselors.

The Media can Support Suicide Prevention in Reporting
To help keep our communities safe, Didi Hirsch urges reporters to follow established media guidelines in reports about suicide: refrain from describing suicide methods or the contents of a suicide note, always include resources like the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, say “died by suicide” rather than “committed suicide” and avoid sensationalizing. Research also shows that stories of hope and how people have survived or found healing have the power to help others and dispel stigma and myths about suicide. Detailed media guidelines are available here

For more information on crisis care and suicide prevention resources, visit crisiscare.org, 988lifeline.org, and bethe1to.com.


About Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Southern California, has been a national leader in whole-person mental health, crisis care and substance use services for more than 80 years. As a pioneer in suicide prevention and crisis care for all ages, Didi Hirsch is home to the nation’s first and largest Suicide Prevention Center, leads the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline across California, operates the national Teen Line, is one of several operators for the national Disaster Distress Helpline and partners with the Los Angeles Police Department to divert mental health crisis calls from 911. The Suicide Prevention Center serves as a model of care internationally and provides outpatient therapy and crisis counseling, support groups for survivors of suicide loss and suicide attempts and suicide prevention training for the community. Learn more at www.didihirsch.org


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