Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is recognized annually as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that suicide is rising across the US, and is the leading cause of death in the US for all ages.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic.

The University understands that awareness and ensuring resources are available regarding suicide prevention is an every-day necessity. With that in mind, Human Resources–Benefits reminds you that there are several mental health resources available to you via Purdue as well as your communities.

“Research has found that 46 percent of people who die by suicide had a known mental health condition, said Candace Shaffer, director of benefits in Human Resources. “Employees shared with us that they wanted and needed additional mental health support in our post-enrollment survey last fall. Through offerings via the Healthy Boiler Program and other resources, HR-Benefits continues to respond. And we will continue to enhance and add as many resources and programs as possible to support the mental health and well-being of the Purdue community and ensure that those resources are easily accessible. We encourage any employee who is struggling to seek help. Through the programs we have in place, we can help you either on-site or refer you for help with mental health, substance use, legal and financial counseling services and more.”

University resources

In support of employee well-being, Purdue University offers many mental health resources to you as faculty and staff. Available resources are:

  • Healthy Boiler Program – a multi-faceted approach to overall well-being that includes behavioral health as one of its five pillars. The Healthy Boiler Program advocates for integrated care programs that focus on behavioral health and community support.

  • Employee Assistance Counseling – available at the Center for Healthy Living (CHL) on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus – offers employees confidential and professional counseling and referral services for a wide range of issues including stress (work-related, anxiety), depression, relationships, grief, drug/alcohol assessments and more.

  • LiveHealth Online Psychology and LiveHealth Online Psychiatry – courtesy of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Purdue’s medical plan administrator – provides online access to psychologists and medication management support for common behavioral conditions such as major depressive disorder, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

  • myStrength – a no-cost, emotional health and well-being program brought to you by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Purdue’s medical plan administrator – referred to as a digital “health club for the mind,” is an online mental health tool that is available to all employees and dependents. See the recent article in the April issue of The Healthy Boiler Newsletter for more information.

  • Who to Call / Where to Go – can be found within in the Smart Healthcare web page on the Benefits website. It provides referral locations for services including behavioral health for all Purdue campus locations: West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Northwest.

  • Mental Health First Aid – Purdue Extension has a team of certified facilitators of Mental Health First Aid (an eight-hour training to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis) who are able to bring this important, lifesaving course to your campus community, organization or department.

  • Purdue Psychology Treatment and Research Clinics – a part of the College of Health and Human Sciences, the specialty clinics offer assessment and therapeutic services for children, adults and families.


Community resources

Additionally, employees have access to many community resources that also focus on mental health, including:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – call 800-273-TALK (8255) – The Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support. You can also chat online with a trained crisis worker for free 24/7 via the Lifeline Chat.

  • Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) – the group works at the international, national, state and local levels to prevent suicide using a public health model in suicide prevention; concentrating its efforts on education and awareness, but does not provide emergency or crisis intervention.

  • View the “Warning Signs of Suicide” web page.

  • National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) – the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization educates, advocates, listens and leads to help build better lives for those affected by mental illness.

  • NAMI Helpline can be reached at 800-950-NAMI (6264), Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET or email

  • Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting “NAMI” to 741741 – 24/7-crisis support via text message.

  • Navigating a mental health crisis guide” is a NAMI resource guide for those experiencing a mental health crisis.

  • Mental Health America – the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness. Purdue employees at the West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Northwest campuses have local access to Mental Health America services.

  • Crisis Center Hotline can be reached via 765-742-0244 (call or text) or toll-free at 877-419-1632 for any problem at any time.