September is Suicide Prevention Month, a perfect time to highlight the work of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
Headquartered in Oklahoma City, “the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is the only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the implementation of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention."
First, some statistics. In 2020, the suicide death rate in the United States was 13.5 per every 100,000 people (22 for males and 5.2 for females). Suicides consistently outnumber homicides (in 2020 13.5 vs. 7.8 per 100,000) and rates are highest among American Indian or Alaskan Natives. You can see a variety of detailed breakdowns at this page of the website: Scope of the Problem.
In addition to tracking and publishing these sobering statistics, SPRC advances suicide prevention infrastructure and capacity building through various activities. They provide consultation, training and resources to states, native settings, universities, health systems and organizations that serve populations at risk for suicide. They work with Action Alliance, to provide staffing, administrative, and logistical support, and they support Zero Suicide, an initiative that provides information, resources, and tools for safer suicide care for people within health and behavioral health care systems.
For people who work in this field, or have an interest in the topic, SPRC has a page of resources and programs. You can filter them by program type (for example training program, fact sheet or webinar), population (age, race, gender, LGBTQ, veterans, etc.), settings (school, faith communities, justice system) and more. Not only can you search for options on a national level, you can also check the prevention plans for each individual state. There are a LOT of resources here.
SPRC is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) so you’re already supporting their work with your tax dollars. If you’d like help raise awareness of SPRC, you can explore the Suicide Prevention Month Ideas for Action one pager and share what you learned on on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @SPRCtweets.