September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

By Amy Perry  |  September 8, 2021  |  Home

NAMI Vermont is actively involved in the fight to address mental illness and suicide prevention throughout the state of Vermont. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – a time to raise awareness on this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. In addition to shifting public perception, we use this month to spread hope and vital information to people affected by suicide. Our goal is ensuring that individuals, friends, families, and the community have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention and to seek help.

Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Suicidal thoughts and suicide occur too frequently but should not be considered common and can indicate more serious issues. In many cases, friends and families affected by a suicide loss (often called “suicide loss survivors”) are left in the dark. Too often the feelings of shame and stigma prevent them from talking openly.

“Suicide is a community health issue. We need to change the culture that we live in and let people know that it is OK to talk about suicide and mental health,” said Laurie Emerson, executive director of NAMI Vermont.

  • In 2019 there were 110 deaths by suicide in Vermont.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-34.
  • Over twelve times as many people died by suicide in 2020 than in alcohol related motor vehicle accidents.
  • 88.06% of firearm deaths were suicides.
  • 53.64% of all suicides were by firearms.

While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life.

Resources that you can utilize if you or someone you know is contemplating suicide:

Help us to eliminate stigma and raise the awareness about suicide prevention and mental health by joining us at the “NAMIWalks Your Way Vermont” event at 152 Pearl St., Burlington on October 9, 2021 beginning at 12 p.m. It is our largest annual fundraising event that supports all of our free programs. Visit our webpage at to form a team and get involved!

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