Suicide Prevention



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Susquehanna County Suicide Awareness Town Hall Meetings



Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. There are many factors that contribute to suicide. The goal of suicide prevention is to reduce factors that increase risk and increase factors that promote resilience.

Suicide claims the lives of over 2,000 Pennsylvanians each year (according to the latest statistics) —an average of five (5) lives each day.  It is estimated that each suicide directly and intimately affects six people. Therefore, at least 12,000 Pennsylvanians become survivors of suicide each year who have lost a loved one, friend, co-worker, or classmate, or someone in the community to suicide. 

National Statistics – According to the latest statistics by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 47,000 died by suicide in the United States.  Suicide is currently the 10th leading cause of death.  A suicide happens every 11.1 minutes which is the equivalent of 129 people who die every day.  There are over 1,000,000 attempts each year. What we do know is that suicide affects ALL ages, races, genders, sexuality, denominations, income, and educational levels…suicide can affect anyone and everyone.  

We also know that ONE SUICIDE IS TOO MANY. Experts agree that clinical depression is one of the biggest risk factors for suicidal thoughts.  Depression can be treated with medicine, counseling, or a combination of the two. Approximately 80% of the people who seek help for their depression improve with treatment.  Therapies such as cognitive behavioral and interpersonal (talk) therapy can help with depression. There are many medications now available, or a combination of both medication and therapy can prove to be very effective in treating depression.  Remember that if one medication does not work, it does not mean they all will not work.  Often a person must go through a period of trial and error to find the treatment that works best for them.

Suicide may feel like a scary topic, and it can be terrifying to think that you or a loved one may be considering it. If you or someone you know is at risk for, or thinking about suicide, Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for immediate help, anytime, day or night! The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, funded by the Federal Government, provides immediate assistance to individuals in suicidal crisis by connecting them to the nearest crisis center in their area. The hotline also provides help and assistance if you are suicidal or are concerned about a friend or loved one.


In the United States, September is acknowledged as Suicide Prevention Month, with the week of September 6th-12th identified as National Suicide Prevention Week. Around the world, September 10th is recognized as World Suicide Prevention Day. The goal of suicide prevention events is to draw attention to this public health challenge and provide tools to make it easier to notice when someone is struggling and to offer support.



Centers for Disease Control,

Prevent Suicide PA,




The Lackawanna County Suicide Prevention Alliance

The Lackawanna County Suicide Prevention Alliance seeks to create a community that is resilient and responsive to the tragedy of suicide. Our Alliance aims to evaluate our county’s current suicide prevention efforts, identify new opportunities to increase awareness for evidence-based programs and protocols, and investigate new treatment and prevention options. We will mobilize community stakeholders to plan, prioritize and collaborate on suicide prevention efforts that will impact this serious problem. 

We recognize that Suicide is a complex issue. Mental health conditions are often seen as the cause of suicide, but suicide is rarely caused by any single factor. In fact, many people who die by suicide are not known to have a diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death, and preventing suicide takes a coordinated effort between government, faith leaders, family, friends, law enforcement, mental health providers, neighbors, schools, social service agencies, etc. While suicide is generally the act of an individual, it occurs in the context of the individual’s relationships, community, larger society, and culture in which we live. Certainly, the suicide death of an individual has a lasting harmful impact on family, friends, coworkers, and our community.

The Lackawanna County Suicide Prevention Alliance welcomes all members of our community to join this important discussion.  We know that preventing suicide requires community partners, multiple prevention strategies and engaging individuals with lived experience who are bereaved by a suicide loss in planning for suicide prevention activities.

Please contact the Alliance at 570-346-5741 or for more information on meeting dates and locations.






Additional Resources:



Suicide Fact Sheet


The Surgeon General’s Call to Action


PA Suicide Prevention Plan – September, 2020


PA Suicide Prevention Task Force – Initial Report 1/14/2020


Developing Effective Safety Plans


Lackawanna County Resources


Susquehanna County Resources