Advocates Spread Awareness during National Suicide Prevention Month

Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Meg Snead joined Prevent Suicide PA and other advocates to raise awareness about suicide prevention. DHS works in conjunction with Prevent Suicide PA to support people affected by suicide, provide education, awareness, and understanding by collaborating with the community to prevent suicide, and reduce stigmas associated with suicide and mental health.

“Suicide prevention is something that we must all be actively engaged in every day. If you are someone who struggles with feelings of hopelessness, we want you to clearly hear this: your life and your health are too important to go through these feelings alone. These are very difficult times for many of us, and now more than ever we need to prioritize our commitment to community and relationships so no one has to go through these feelings alone,” said Acting Secretary Snead. “If you are experiencing difficult emotions or feelings of hopelessness, your feelings are valid and help is available, so please reach out. Check on those you love, and together we can save lives.”

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Approximately 1.4 million adults attempt suicide annually in the United States, with more than 85 percent reporting having made a suicide plan prior to their attempt. Throughout September, we remember those lost to suicide and support loss and suicide attempt survivors and all who experience suicidal ideation every day. All Pennsylvanians should take extra care to be mindful of their mental health and tend to their overall health and wellness during this time. Check in with yourself, be honest about how you are feeling to yourself and your support network, and if you need someone to talk to or a little extra support, help is available.

DHS’ mental health support & referral helpline is available 24/7 and is a free resource staffed by skilled and compassionate caseworkers available to counsel Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions. The helpline caseworkers can refer callers to community-based resources that can further help to meet individual needs. Since April 2020, more than 28,000 people have called, most seeking mental health services. Pennsylvanians can contact Persevere PA at 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or thoughts of suicide or have in past, know that these free resources are also available 24/7:

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
  • The Spanish-language National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-888-628-9454
  • For the Mental Health Crisis Text Line: Text PA to 741741
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
  • TrevorLifeline for LGBTQ individuals: 866-488-7386
  • Trans Helpline: 877-565-8860