Suicide and Self-Harm Injuries

Suicides and self-harm injuries are a growing public health concern. Each year, too many New York State residents die due to suicide. Many are treated at an emergency department or are hospitalized due to a self-harm injury. Suicide is a complex problem that requires a comprehensive approach to prevention. This website provides information for public health agencies, practitioners, and community groups to aid in suicide prevention efforts.

Crisis Support

Dial 911 in an emergency if your life, or someone else's, is in imminent danger.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline/ Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio

For anyone in crisis or in need of immediate help. All services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential. Learn more.

  • English: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line (text GOT5 to 741741) or chat on their website.
  • Español: 1-888-628-9454 (con la palabra GOT5 al 741741)
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing (TTY): Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255
  • Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) press 1, or text 838255
  • New York State HOPEline: New York State’s 24-hour, confidential gambling and chemical dependency hotline offered in 7 languages. Offers support, information, and referrals. Call 1-877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: A 24-hour hotline that provides safety planning, support, and resources for survivors of abuse and concerned friends or family members. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) (TTY): 1-800-787-3224 Text START to 88788 or chat on their website
  • Child Help USA National Child Abuse Hotline: 24-hour hotline to provide multilingual crisis intervention and professional counseling on child abuse to parents, teens, children, survivors and concerned friends or family. Call or text 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453) TTY 800-222-4453, or chat on their website.
  • National Human Trafficking Hotline: A 24-hour, toll-free hotline to speak with a specially trained Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocate. Support is provided in more than 200 languages. Call 1-888-373-7888 Text 233733 or chat on their website
  • The Trevor Project: A 24-hour hotline that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning young people (LGBTQI) ages 13-24. Call 1-866-488-7386, text 678678, or chat on their website.
  • Trans Lifeline: Grassroots, trans-led hotline offering direct emotional and financial support and resources to transgender people in crisis Call 1-877-565-8860
  • BlackLine: A space for peer support and crisis counseling for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), Femmes, and the LGBTQI community. Call or text 1-800-604-5841

The integration and coordination of prevention activities across sectors and settings is critical for expanding the reach and impact of suicide prevention efforts. NYSDOH is working to support local government entities to establish policies and practices that Create Protective Environments, as a part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.

Work with partners in harm reduction and substance abuse treatment, diverse stakeholders, people with lived experience and their loved ones, health care providers, public safety and first responders to create an integrated approach to suicide intervention and prevention in your community.

Communicate

Communication can be a powerful tool to promote resiliency, encourage help-seeking behaviors, share success stories, and help prevent suicide. Language matters when discussing suicide and mental health. When raising suicide prevention awareness or approaching someone who may be crisis, please consider the following:

Say this Instead of this
Died of suicide Committed suicide
Suicide death Successful attempt
Suicide attempt Unsuccessful attempt
Person living with suicidal thoughts or behavior Suicide attempter
Suicide Completed suicide
(Describe the behavior) Manipulative, cry for help, or suicidal gesture
Working with Dealing with suicidal crisis
  • Using “people first” language can reduce the chances of stigmatizing, dehumanizing or causing unintentional harm to the communities we serve.
  • Suicide is preventable. If you suspect someone may be in crisis or considering suicide, use these steps to guide conversation, keep them safe, and connect them to care.
  • Ensure that your messaging is safe, positive, strategic, and prevention focused.
  • Avoid using sensational terms such as “skyrocketing”, “devastating” or “sufferers” when describing suicidality.
  • Explore the CDC Framing Guide For Communicating About Injury for more information on framing and message development techniques for injury programs and partners.

Suicide prevention efforts are more likely to succeed if they are guided by the best evidence available.

As part of a strategic planning approach, use data and the best available scientific evidence to inform and refine suicide prevention and response efforts. Studies show that the risk of a suicide attempt or death is highest within 30 days of discharge from an ED or inpatient psychiatric unit in patients who had attempted or considered suicide

Data Resources