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RESOURCES
& DATA

SPAN provides information, data, links and resources to empower organizations and community members to protect their family, friends and themselves from suicide. 

LEARN RISKS, SIGNS & THE 5 STEPS

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RISK FACTORS

Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. They can't cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they're important to be aware of.

  • A prior suicide attempt

  • Depression and other mental health disorders

  • Substance abuse disorder

  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies

  • Job or financial loss

  • Loss of relationship(s)

  • Family history of a mental health or substance abuse disorder

  • Family history of suicide

  • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse

  • Having guns or other firearms in the home

  • Being in prison or jail

  • Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as a family member, peer, or media figure

  • Medical illness

  • Being between the ages of 15 and 24 years or over age 60 

  • Hopelessness

  • Local clusters of suicide

  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation

  • Stigma associated with asking for help

  • Lack of healthcare, mental health & substance abuse treatment

LEARN THE WARNING SIGNS

Warning signs can help you recognize if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. 

  • Talking about suicide or death

  • Talking about wanting to die

  • Talking about feeling hopeless, or having no reason to live

  • Looking for ways to kill themselves online, stockpiling pills, or acquiring lethal items like firearms, ropes, etc

  • Talking about great guilt or shame

  • Talking about feeling trapped, feeling there are no solutions, or feeling unbearable pain, physical or emotional

  • Talking about being a burden to others

  • Using alcohol or drugs more often

  • Acting anxious or agitated

  • Withdrawing from family and friends

  • Changing eating and/or sleeping habits

  • Showing rage or talking about revenge

  • Risky or reckless behavior

  • Giving away possessions & pets

  • Saying goodbye to friends and family

  • Putting affairs in order, making a will

  

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

TAKE THE 5 STEPS  

1. Ask

“Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question but studies show that asking someone if they are suicidal does not increase suicidal thoughts.

 

2. Be There

Listen to what they are feeling and thinking. Listen with compassion and empathy, and without dismissing or judging. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.

 

3. Keep Them Safe

Prioritize safety. Ask if the person has a plan for suicide. Help put time and space between someone in crisis and lethal means, such as firearms, poison, or other deadly means. Reducing a suicidal person's access to lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention.

 

4. Help Them Connect

Help them connect to a support system, whether it's 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and the Crisis Text Line (741741), or it's trusted family members, friends, coaches, clergy, co-workers, or therapists, so they have a network to reach out to for help 24/7.

5. Follow Up

Check-in with the person. Making contact over the days and weeks following a crisis can make a difference in keeping them alive. Studies have shown suicide deaths go down when someone follows up with the person experiencing thoughts of suicide.  

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KNOW THE SIGNS.

This "Know The Signs" website created for a California campaign provides an interactive way to explore how to recognize signs of suicidal risk in teens and adults, find the right words to have life-saving conversations and reach out to save lives. Click on "play" or the button below.

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WARNING SIGNS.

Download and share this infographic with your community and groups to help raise awareness of warning signs. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you need help either for yourself or someone you care about.

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TAKE

ACTION.

Download and share this infographic to help empower yourself and others to save someone's life. 

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SPREAD

THE WORD.

Download and share this infographic in English and Spanish to help empower yourself and others to save someone's life. 

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MORE RESOURCES.

From a best practice guide to reporting on suicide, to a comprehensive listing of resources for suicidal individuals, their loved ones, survivors, and mental health professionals, these resources can help.

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DATA.

Suicide reports and trends can help make us aware of who may be most at-risk and where to focus efforts, as well as whether we are making progress or falling behind.

REGIONAL & STATE ORGANIZATIONS.

Virginia's government agencies and nonprofit organizations provide information and services to prevent suicide.

Virginia Dept of Health

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Virginia Dept of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services

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NAMI Northern Virginia

Helpline 571.458.7310 x 102

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ConnerStrong

Foundation

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Becky Love Foundation

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Eric Monday Foundation

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Our Minds Matter

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FEDERAL AGENCIES.

United States federal government agencies conduct research, report on health data, convene experts, and set federal guidelines to prevent suicide.

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration

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Centers for Disease Control

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National Institute of Mental Health

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NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

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The Trevor Project

24/7 free support for LGBTQ youth

TrevorLifeline 1.866.488.7386

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Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

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The Jed Foundation

Protecting emotional health & preventing suicide for youth

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National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Making educators partners in preventing suicide

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American Association of Suicidology

Active Minds

Mental health awareness and education for students with college chapters

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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

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