Skip to main content
Full Menu Close Menu
Your Well-being

Suicide prevention

New York Teacher
Shadow of a man with words of sadness around him
John Hain via Pixabay

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, resulting in more than 50,000 deaths in 2023. While suicide rates often spike during spring, increased awareness of the warning signs can help prevent these tragedies.

Many people don’t realize that suicide can be a momentary impulse. Stay vigilant for warning signs and risk factors in colleagues, students and others so that you can help and be aware of resources for assistance.

Warning signs

  • Talking about being a burden to others or having no reason to live.
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated or behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or isolating.
  • Having extreme mood swings.

Prevention strategies

  • Talk about it: Open conversations can save lives. Studies show that conversations about suicide don’t cause more suicides; they increase awareness, which in turn reduces risk.
  • Identify and support people at risk. Everyone can learn the signs of suicide risk, how to respond and where to access help.
  • A sense of community can help. Participation in community programs and events can increase a sense of belonging. Schools and other work environments can help by knowing their local resources and having a plan in place for those in crisis.

Help is available

The UFT Member Assistance Program helps in-service members by offering access to licensed clinicians and referrals. The union’s new UFT helpline, at 1-866-UFT-FOR-U, is a 24/7 support and crisis phone line available in multiple languages for in-service UFT members. It’s a partnership between Vibrant Emotional Health and the UFT.

Call the UFT Member Assistance Program at 212-701-9620 to speak with a licensed clinician or email