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During Suicide Prevention Month, DHHS Reminds Public Immediate Help is Available

DHHS and its partners offer help in the case of a mental health crisis.

Sept. 18, 2017 — September is Suicide Prevention Month, and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reminds North Carolinians that help for a mental health crisis is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or through an online chat at

Each year in North Carolina, more than 1,200 people die as a result of suicide and more than 14,000 are treated or hospitalized for self-inflicted wounds. In the United States, one person dies by suicide every 12.3 minutes, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death overall and the second leading cause of death for people up to age 44. Each week, five veterans die by suicide.

“Immediate help is available for anyone having suicidal thoughts or thinking of hurting themselves or others,” said Dr. Jason Vogler, Senior Director for DHHS’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. “Supporting those in crisis and directing them to help can save lives.”

DHHS partners with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, offering trained call center staff to help with issues ranging from substance use, economic stress, relationships and family problems, sexual orientation, illness, trauma from abuse, bullying, depression, mental and physical illness and loneliness. When calling the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), veterans and military members should press 1.

If you or someone you know exhibits any of the following signs, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or by calling the Lifeline:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing their use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated or behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Talking about being very tired; extremely fatigued with life or life events.

Often, these are signs that someone is at risk for suicide. The risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change.

In addition to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, North Carolinians can find suicide prevention resources for youth at and information about crisis services on the DHHS website.

Dan Guy and Susan Robinson