Throughout the United States, individuals and organizations are stepping up to recognize September as Suicide Prevention Month, the week of September 8-14 as National Suicide Prevention Week, and September 10th as World Suicide Prevention Day. The goal of annual suicide prevention observances is not to prevent suicide on a specific day, week, or month, but rather to encourage wide participation in educational activities that draw attention to the problem of suicide and advocate for prevention efforts.
Over the past two decades, suicide rates have risen dramatically across all age groups and in nearly every state, including  Pennsylvania. In order to implement more comprehensive approaches to suicide prevention, diverse stakeholders from multiple systems are working together to engage in training and education, awareness and stigma reduction, methods for early identification and referral, data collection and research to support evidence-based interventions and treatment, supports for healing after a suicide loss, lethal means reduction, and media partnerships to promote safe messaging. Efforts such as Suicide Prevention Month allow us to think more broadly about suicide prevention, recognizing the need to reduce suicide risk factors and to build protective factors like social connections and healthy coping strategies. We all play a vital role in preventing suicide and saving lives. Suicide  knows no boundaries, meaning it can and does affect everyone. By providing a special month dedicated to prevention, we can amplify the unique voices of those affected by suicide and make it known that it is okay to reach out to help and to reach out for help.
Brief Suicide Statistics United States (CDC, 2019):
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death nationwide.
  • In 2017, 47,173 Americans died by suicide.
  • In 2017, there were an estimated 1,200,000 suicide attempts.
  • On average, approximately 129 Americans die by suicide every day.
  • There is one death by suicide in the United States every 11 minutes.
Pennsylvania Statistics (CDC, 2019; Pennsylvania Department of Health, 2019)
  • In Pennsylvania, on average, one person dies by suicide every four hours.
  • In 2017, 2,023 people died by suicide in Pennsylvania.
  • More than six times as many people died by suicide in Pennsylvania in 2017 than in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents.
  • Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in Pennsylvania:
  • 2nd leading cause of death for ages 15-34.
  • 4th leading cause of death for ages 35-54.
  • 8th leading cause of death for ages 55-64.
  • 17th leading cause of death for ages 65 & older.
These are not just numbers. They are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, family members, neighbors, loved ones, and community leaders who have, for one reason or  another, temporarily lost hope. By working together this September, we can prevent suicide.
Crisis Resources
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit
Crisis Text Line: TEXT 741-741 or visit
The Trevor Project:  1-866-488-7386 or visit
List of Crisis Intervention contact information by county.
County Task Force Resources: By county, available contact information is provided for crisis, the Suicide Prevention Task Force, local chapter of AFSP, and other local  mental health/suicide prevention resources.
National and State Organizations
American Association of Suicidology (AAS):
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP):
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC):
Prevent Suicide PA:
Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services (PNSAS):

Special Features

Southern Columbia is engaged in a yearlong initiative to Soar into Space in hopes of being chosen as a downlink site for a live feed emanating from the International Space Station. If chosen, students and staff will be afforeded the unique opportunity to speak with the astronauts currently on the space station sometime in spring 2020. To help the District's application stand out among the rest, Literacy Specialist Lindy Novak and Library Manager Amanda Noblit, have created a set activities and events.Learn More

The Take 5 to Save Lives program outlines 5 things that we can all do to work together to prevent suicide.The campaign encourages everyone to take five minutes out of their day to complete five prevention-focused action steps: 1. Learn the Signs: Take a few minutes to learn the warning signs of suicide. 2. Know How to Help- Know what to say and do if someone you know is struggling.3. Practice Self-Care- MLearn More