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NC Department of Health and Human Services
N.C. DPH: Chronic Disease and Injury Section
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Injury and Violence Prevention Branch

Suicide Prevention

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Suicide is the act of intentionally taking one’s life. Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have long-lasting effects on individuals, families, and communities. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth in North Carolina ages 10 to 18, and the third leading cause of death for those ages 19 to 34. Suicide deaths are only part of the problem. More people survive suicide attempts than those who die, and they are often seriously injured and need medical care.

However, suicides are preventable, and 90% of people who attempt a suicide and survive do not go on to die by suicide. Suicides can be prevented by recognizing signs and symptoms, learning how to help, and taking steps to provide that help to people of all ages and abilities in need.

If you or someone you know are thinking about suicide,
call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or chat

What are the risk factors for suicide?

Note: These are only some of the risk factors for suicide. To learn more, visit the CDC's risk and protective and suicide prevention pages.

 About the Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program

Our CSP program focuses on reaching men, veterans, those residing in rural communities, and youth ages 10-18 with increased risk of suicide in North Carolina.

Our evidence-informed programs/practices include:

  • Firearm Safety Teams - Expanding and disseminating Firearm Safety Team (FST) development training across the state.
  • Injury-Free NC Academy - Providing training to introduce evidence-based suicide prevention policies and programming.
  • Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) - Providing various CALM sessions to expand access to lethal means counseling.
  • Gatekeeper Training - Promoting gatekeeper trainings through Living Works Start, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), and Living Works Faith.
  • Suicide Prevention in Schools – Collaborating with Department of Public Instruction to create and implement online training modules for Suicide Prevention Training in NC Schools.

The Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Advisory Council (CSPAC) holds quarterly meetings that provide a platform for peer learning, with a goal of building statewide capacity for suicide prevention.

Join our suicide prevention listserv to receive more information about suicide prevention work, including upcoming webinars, trainings, conference, and much more. Contact Sara Smith: to be added to the listserv.

Statewide Inventory of Suicide Prevention Efforts

This map helps communities identify prevention efforts in their area.

If you want to be added to this map or have your information updated, please complete this brief survey.

 Instructions to Use Inventory

  • To navigate the dashboard, use the filter sections on the right side of the page according to the safe storage methods or special populations that are of interest.
  • The Filter Map by Safe Storage Method drop down box allows you to filter resources throughout the state by which type of safe storage practice an organization may offer.
  • The Filter Map by Population Served boxes allow you to filter resources throughout the state by the priority populations they serve.
  • The Populations Served Legend provides a color-coded system for resources based on the priority populations which are served by that resource.
  • To select a resource, hover your cursor over the resource to read what the resource is, where they are located, what services they provide, and what counties they serve.
  • If you wish to view the resource you have selected in a more in-depth manner, click on the hyperlink labeled click for website and you will be directed to the website for that resource.
  • Due to the high number of programs in Wake, Durham and Orange counties, this area has been enlarged to accurately show the locations of efforts. Additional information for a suicide prevention effort can be obtained by hovering your cursor over a dot.

Suicide Prevention Resources

Prevention Resources

New! North Carolina Suicide Prevention State Action Plan

Information to help create and implement a local community firearm safety team

CDC guidance for evidence-based suicide prevention

2015 North Carolina Suicide Prevention Strategic Plan

2020 addition to suicide prevention strategic plan focused on firearms

 Postvention Resources

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools - a resource created by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, Education Development Center, and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to support schools after a loss

Postvention in Higher Education - Jed Foundation guide for response to suicide on college campuses

Best Practices and Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide - guidelines for media reporting on suicide

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Hope and Healing webpage) - a webpage by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to support individuals after a suicide loss

People Matter, Words Matter - guide for talking about suicide using destigmatizing language that promotes help-seeking

Suicide and Self-Inflicted Injury Data Resources


North Carolina Violent Death Reporting System Data Dashboard

Query and visualize data on overall violent deaths, homicides, suicides, and firearm-related deaths statewide and by county


Mental Health Dashboard

View ZIP, county, and state-level ED visit trends for select mental health-related conditions

Factsheets and Reports

Self-Inflicted Injury ED Visit Surveillance Report

Quarterly report with trends and demographic breakdowns of ED visits for self-inflicted injury in NC

Population Specific Fact Sheets

NC-VDRS Factsheets on suicide deaths among males, veterans, youth, older adults, and rural populations

Annual Report

Detailed summary of violent deaths including suicides and violent deaths involving firearms

 Youth Suicide Prevention

Youth Suicide Prevention Overview

Youth suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting and significant effects on youths and their families, peers and communities. Causes of suicide among youth can be complex and involve many different factors. Suicide can be prevented by addressing an individual’s risk factors, teaching resilience, promoting connectedness, reducing feelings of isolation and restricting access to lethal means. Youth serving providers such as schools can learn to identify and assist those at risk, reduce stigma and promote help seeking and provide linkages to care.

Youth Suicide Prevention Initiatives

In 2008, North Carolina was awarded the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Youth Suicide Prevention Program, to address suicide among 10-24 year olds in North Carolina. The grant ended in 2015 and led to creation of the It's OK 2 Ask" website and provides suicide prevention trainings to communities. The program continues to provide technical assistance and subject matter expertise to youth serving entities.