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September 2022Vol. 23, No. 7September Is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. During this time, it is important to acknowledge those affected by suicide, raise awareness, and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services.

Many times, children and youth come into the care of the child welfare system with trauma as a result of adverse childhood experiences, such as abuse and neglect. Research indicates that youth involved with child welfare have higher rates of suicide ideation and attempts than their peers who are not, especially for male, African American, and LGBTQ+ youth. In addition, suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 24.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has a webpage dedicated to providing parents and caregivers, children and teens, mental health providers, educators and school staff, and policy makers with important resources that focus on topics such as childhood traumatic grief, understanding child suicide for military parents, suicide among refugee children and youth, how to deal with the death of a caregiver, helping teens with traumatic grief, and more, as well as materials available in Spanish.

SAMSHA also has a Help Prevent Suicide webpage that provides important information about suicide; where and how to find help; resources from SAMHSA, federal agencies, and other sources; and more. In addition, SAMHSA also has a Suicide Prevention Resources webpage for American Indian and Alaska Native communities that provides organizations, articles, and other resources that they can use to strengthen suicide prevention efforts.  

Visit the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and SAMHSA websites for more information.