Suicide and Self-Inflicted Injury Prevention
Call or text 988 to be connected with a local health professional from the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, formerly known as the national Suicide prevention Lifeline.
You may also text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. The Crisis Text Line offers 24/7 support from anywhere in the US to connect you with a trained Crisis Counselor. It may take a few moments to be assigned a counselor if you can wait patiently.
Or, you may chat online at 988LIFELINE.ORG or call the National Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The Connecticut suicide rate in 2021 was twice the rate of homicide (10.2/100,000 versus 4.9/100,000, respectively). The suicide rate for the state is highest for persons 25 to 34 years of age and lowest for the age group under 10 years. According to the 2021 Connecticut School Health Survey, 14.1% of students in grades 9 through 12 said they seriously considered a suicide attempt during the previous 12 months. In the same survey, the percentage of actual suicide attempts among high school students demonstrated a declining trend from 2017 to 2021, decreasing from 8.1% to 5.9%.
Data from the Office of Vital Records shows that in Connecticut, from 2017 to 2021, there were 2,001 deaths due to suicide. During the same period there were 6,750 hospital admissions for a suicide attempt with 88% related to a drug overdose (n=5,943).
Evidence suggests that suicide and self-inflicted injury are closely linked to depression and other mental health issues. The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) supports the general principles outlined in the Connecticut Suicide Prevention Plan 2020-2025 that promote awareness of suicide and reduce factors that increase the risks.
Listed below are some of the DPH strategic areas of focus:
- Increasing the ability to recognize and respond to individuals at risk;
- Increasing help-seeking behavior of individuals and gatekeepers;
- Providing and disseminating accurate and comprehensive de-identified, aggregate suicide data through the Connecticut Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS);
- Developing and following crisis management procedures;
- Restricting access to potentially lethal means (prescription drugs);
- Develop life skills that enhance protective factors; and
- Promoting social networks.
CDC Grant Funding - A Public Health Approach to Suicide Prevention in Connecticut
The Connecticut DPH was awarded a five-year CDC grant for $700,000 per year entitled “A Public Health Approach to Comprehensive Suicide Prevention in Connecticut” starting September 1, 2020. Local public health agencies, Regional Suicide Advisory Boards, CT DMHAS, and CT DCF are working together to advance this prevention effort. Other partners are the United Way of Connecticut and UConn Health’s Center for Population Health. This project takes a coordinated, multi-tiered, and multi-disciplinary public health approach to curtail the rates of suicide, suicide attempts, and other self-directed violence. Robust surveillance and data dissemination activities are informing prevention initiatives. Evidence-based prevention strategies, which have an immediate impact in preventing suicide, are being implemented, as well as upstream approaches to promote resilience, coping skills, mental health, and wellbeing to protect individuals from considering suicide as an option. Evaluation, communications development and dissemination, partnership building, and identification/expansion of local-level suicide prevention resources are priorities.
affected populations identified for this project are: 1) persons 35 to 65 years
old, who are at a higher risk of suicide, and have severe mental illness or
substance use disorders, 2) adolescents and young adults 10 to 24 years old—the
highest risk age group for suicide attempt, other self-directed violence, and
suicide ideation, and 3) older aged persons 65 years of age and older who since
2020 have an increased risk of suicide behavior and suicide.
The suicide prevention strategies align with the CDC's Suicide Prevention Resource for Action (cdc.gov)(2022). Selected strategies are based on a three-tier approach: community-based interventions, healthcare-related interventions, and upstream interventions. Also, chosen strategies are in-line with statewide CT Suicide Advisory Board objectives and with the Connecticut State Suicide Prevention Plan 2020-2025. For more information about CT’s strategies, see this link: Connecticut Department of Public Health | CSP Program Profiles | Funded Programs | Suicide | CDC.
The Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board (CTSAB)
About the Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board (preventsuicide.org)
The CTSAB is a network of diverse advocates, educators and leaders concerned with addressing the problem of suicide with a focus on prevention, intervention, and health and wellness promotion. CTSAB is a much broader coalition than the previous Interagency Suicide Prevention Network (ISPN), representing a wide mix of public state agencies, private not for profits, professions, survivors, veterans, military, clergy, schools, universities, health care agencies, police, and communities.