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September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: Invest Five Minutes To Save a Life

A Message from Stephen Roggenbaum, USF Faculty Member and Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition Vice Chair


September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and September 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day. This targeted awareness, combined with two celebrity deaths by suicide this past summer and reports that suicide rates are increasing in Florida and nationwide (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018) should be a call to action for all citizens.

The National Council for Suicide Prevention has organized mental health and suicide prevention communities to spread the word about World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th and the Take 5 to Save Lives campaign.

Take5toSaveLives is an internationally recognized campaign that engages us, the public, by providing five easy action-oriented steps surrounding suicide prevention on or before World Suicide Prevention Day.  The campaign asks supporters to take 5 simple action steps:

  1. Learn the signs
  2. Do your part
  3. Practice Self-care
  4. Reach out, and
  5. Spread the word. 

Through these five action steps we can increase public understanding of three very important messages:  

  1. Suicide is preventable
  2. Preventing suicide is a collective responsibility, and
  3. Help is available for anyone experiencing an emotional crisis.  

The Take5 campaign aligns with the International Association for Suicide Prevention’s leadership of World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th) and the theme of “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.”

This year, join the growing national movement that is changing and saving lives. Invest five minutes and visit www.take5tosavelives.org to enhance your capacity to reach out (Step 4) when you see a friend, coworker, neighbor, or relative in distress. Asking someone about suicide does not plant the idea in his/her mind. Asking someone directly if he or she is thinking about suicide in a caring manner can help a person realize it’s okay to struggle, talk about it, and seek help.

Help is available. If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally, in crisis, or having thoughts of suicide, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK) or the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Stephen Roggenbaum
USF Faculty Member
Child & Family Studies
College of Behavioral and Community Sciences
Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council, Governor appointee
Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition Vice Chair



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