World Suicide Prevention Day – September 10

Sponsored by the Gun Sense: For the Common Good
Part of the SMOS Living Justice Ministries

The SMOS Gun Sense: For the Common Good team is honoring World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th) and highlighting National Suicide Prevention Month at all the Masses the second weekend in September.

There will be special prayers said this weekend; you can write a petition for anyone affected by mental illness, suicide, or gun violence and leave it in the basket at our Mourning & Remembering Altar at the Pieta; there is a special Advocacy Letter at our table down in the Church Hall; and we have heart lollipops which we’ll be handing out in remembrance of all those affected by suicide.


If you are in need of mental health resources, please call the NAMI St. Louis Helpline at 314-962-4670, Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm, CT.
If you are in a Crisis, please call or text 988 from your phone for 24/7, confidential, free crisis counseling.
If you are in need of police assistance, please call 911 & request a CIT Trained Officer.

Facts About Suicide

As September is Suicide Awareness month, we present some facts*. Are you aware that:

  • Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. The gun suicide rate is 12x higher in the USA than in other high-income countries.
  • In 2021, 48,183 people died by suicide.
  • In 2021, there were 1.7 million suicide attempts.
  • On average, there are 132 suicides per day.
  • The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men. (White males accounted for 69.68% of suicide deaths in 2021.)
  • In 2021, men died by suicide 3.9x more than women.
  • The rate of suicide in rural areas is more than 2x greater than in urban areas.
  • In 2021, firearms accounted for 54.64% of all suicide deaths.
  • A gun is the most lethal method of suicide; close to 90% of all suicide attempts with a gun are fatal. (Across all suicides without a gun, only 4% result in death.)
  • Having access to firearms triples one’s risk of death by suicide.
  • In Missouri, 53% of gun deaths are suicides (only 44% are homicides) – 10th highest rate of suicides and suicide attempts by gun in the U.S.
  • The rate of gun suicides in Missouri from 2012 to 2021 has increased 59% (only 19% nationwide).
  • Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in MO; 34% are suicides.

Find out more about gun suicide at Firearm Suicide in the United States | Everytown Research & Policy.

Safely storing firearms can prevent a suicide death in a moment of despair or impulse.   If you or a loved one desires a gun lock, free gun locks are available from several different organizations and outlets around St. Louis, including fire stations, libraries, and SLMPD police stations, as well as through Lock It For Love and at more than 20 BJC Healthcare locations, including Children’s Hospital where you can order one online.

*Published statistics on suicide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2021, updated in July 2022, and a John Hopkins Study published in 2021 spanning 2010-2020.

Suicide Awareness Month Events & Activities

SMOS Gun Sense: For the Common Good will be participating in the following activities:

Prayer Intentions
Every Sunday at the Pieta there will be white strips of paper if you would like to privately write the name of someone who has been affected by suicide for whom you would like to pray.

Advocacy Table – Suicide Prevention
You can sign the letters regarding Suicide Prevention Awareness that are at our Advocacy Table (or available online to print and sign as well).

Out of the Darkness – American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – St. Louis Walk
Date: 09/24/2023
Location: Creve Coeur Lake Park, St. Louis, MO
Check-in Time: 9:30 am
Event End Time: 3:00 pm
Registration Link:

Additional Resources:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
St. Louis Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition:
NAMI St. Louis:

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