Suicide Prevention Organizations & Groups

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Suicide claims the lives of more than 42,000 Americans each year and is among the top 10 leading causes of deaths. Read on to learn about the variety of organizations that aim to prevent suicide through support, research, training, and awareness.

Groups and Organizations for the Prevention of Suicide

Many local, state and national groups are dedicated to preventing suicide and offer suicide prevention resources ranging from emergency hotlines to research to prevention training. Some organizations focus on general suicide prevention, while others target specific groups. Here, we take a look at some of the most active suicide prevention groups:

General Suicide Prevention Organizations

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration runs the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline accessible throughout the country. Those who call are connected to one of more than 150 local crisis centers in the United States. Calls are free and confidential.
  • The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) has a training institute for teachers, social service professionals, and those who work in public health, behavioral health or other medical fields. These suicide-prevention training resources include webinars and online courses, along with workshops and toolkits for schools, senior living facilities, and primary care providers.
  • The Jason Foundation offers training and support resources for educators, parents and children. These include online training courses for teachers and other professionals who work with youth, and a mobile app that helps individuals identify warning signs and offers quick access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
  • The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has a multi-tiered approach to suicide prevention. Their work includes programs and support for at-risk individuals, programming for professionals who work with high-risk groups, funding research, and lobbying for laws and policies that aim to prevent suicide.
  • The Action Alliance works on a national level to implement wide-spread changes with the goal of preventing suicide. Their work includes campaigning to raise public awareness, designing a framework for suicide prevention within communities, and transforming the suicide-prevention operations and systems within the primary and behavioral health care industries.

Specialized Organizations

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers free, confidential 24-hour support to veterans who are thinking about suicide and their concerned friends or family members. Those seeking support may call, text, or chat online for help.
  • The Jed Foundation focuses on suicide prevention among college and university students. The organization's resources include training programs for college staff and faculty, online and on-campus awareness campaigns, and assistance for students seeking help at their colleges or universities.
  • The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) offers suicide prevention resources for individuals with bipolar disorder or depression. While this organization doesn't focus exclusively on suicide prevention, it does provide information on how to identify suicidal thinking and warning signs among those who have bipolar disorder or depression, and find relevant local support groups.

State and Local Groups

Some states have organizations dedicated to preventing suicide among their residents. The Youth Suicide Prevention Program in the state of Washington, for example, offers resources such as school curriculum, community programs, and training materials. Support groups for those who have lost someone to suicide, meanwhile, are widely available in communities throughout the country. The AFSP offers an online search tool to help individuals locate local groups.

If you are thinking about suicide or know someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Additional Information

For additional information about suicide and suicide prevention, offers these helpful self-paced online courses and lessons:

  • The Abnormal Psychology course explores a range of disorders and includes information on identifying the reasons people attempt suicide, understanding triggers, suicide prevention, and statistics.
  • This Preventive and Responsive School Services collection of lessons covers preventing and reducing suicide, along with bullying and violence, in schools.

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