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September is Suicide Prevention Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, a month dedicated to informing and engaging our community in our efforts to prevent suicide. 

Below, you will find resources, activities, and tips surrounding suicide prevention. We encourage you to get involved and help us combat suicide in northern Michigan.

Please call Third Level to find out more: (231) 922-4800. Third Level is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Get Involved

During Suicide Prevention Month, Third Level is partnering with the Grand Traverse and Leelanau Suicide Prevention Coalition and others to involve our community in this important issue. Here are some ways YOU can get involved:

Saturday, September 15: Out Of The Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk

Come join us for a walk around downtown Traverse City to talk with friends and raise awareness of suicide and how we can prevent it. Registration begins at 10am and the walk begins at 11am. Lunch is provided. Click here for more details. Feel free to bring a picture of a loved one and a story, poem, or song to share with the group, if you choose. Call Third Level for more details (800) 442-7315.

Click here for the Out of the Darkness flyer.

Saturday, September 29: safeTALK Training

Learn the skills to save a life. safeTALK teaches participants to recognize and engage persons who might be having thoughts of suicide and to connect them with community resources that can save their life. Call Third Level to register: (800) 4422-7315.

Click here for the safeTALK flyer.

All Day, Every Day

Be an ambassador for suicide prevention efforts. Stand up and speak out about the stigma around suicide. Ask others if they need help. If they do, Listen with compassion and caring, and the help them Seek Help. You could save a life if you do.

Third Level is here for you 24/7/365. Call us anytime at (800) 442-7315.

Support Third Level

Third Level fields more than 30,000 contacts each year through our 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention services. We need our community’s support to continue these services. Consider making a tax-deductible donation to Third Level or volunteering your time to help those in need. Follow the links below to learn more:

Donate to Support Crisis ServicesClick here for more information about donating to Third Level and Child & Family Services.

Click here for more information about volunteering with Third Level and Child & Family Services.

Get in the Know

The Facts on Suicide in Northern Michigan:

  • Our northern Michigan region suffers from a suicide rate that is 26% higher than that of the state (Michigan Department of Community Health).
  • Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in Michigan (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services).
    • Ages 5-14: Third leading cause of death
    • Ages 15-34: Second leading cause of death
    • Ages 35-49: Third leading cause of death
  • Every 16.2 minutes someone will end their life by suicide, leaving at least six people around them in pain (
  • “Suicide rates for adolescents and young adults are higher in rural than in urban communities regardless of the method used, and rural-urban disparities appear to be increasing over time.” (Fontanella, et al)
  • Suicide rates are about four times higher among males than females (Western Michigan University).

Recognize the Signs

Over the past 40 years, researchers have been looking the warning signs of someone at risk of committing suicide and what helps a person at risk. It is clear that therapy, in conjunction with medical treatment, offers hope and help to many. Follow the links below to learn the signs that may appear in someone who’s struggling with thoughts of suicide. For more detailed information about knowing the signs and acting to save a life, consider attending safeTALK Training on September 6 or, for more in-depth training, consider ASIST in October. Call Third Level for more details or to register: (231) 922-4800.

Suicide Prevention at Third Level

What to do: Ask, Listen, and Seek Help

Third Level 24/7 Crisis Intervention Services

Know the Warning Signs

Spread Hope

“For every one person who tragically dies by suicide in the US, there are approximately 278 people who have moved past serious thoughts about killing themselves, and nearly 60 who have survived a suicide attempt, the overwhelming majority of whom will go on to live out their lives,” explains the Center for Disease Control.

We must talk about the survivors, share their story, and remember that there is hope in times of crisis.

So, what else can I do to prevent suicide?

  1. We must talk openly and directly about suicide.
    Suicide often carries a stigma in our society. It’s something we try not to talk about, something we avoid or dismiss because, often, we don’t know how to address it. But suicide is real, prevalent – and preventable. We need to talk about suicide and, more importantly, about the more than 90% of suicide survivors who won’t try to kill themselves again later in life.
  2. Ask directly – are you thinking about killing yourself?
    If you notice someone acting differently, the best thing you can do is ask them directly about suicide, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” If you are indirect or unclear, you may make them feel disregarded or that the situation is unserious, causing you to miss their invitation for help. Most of the time, the answer will be “no”, but we must ask anyways. Otherwise, we may not know until it’s too late.
  3. Seek help and help others seek it.
    Most of us will never be experts on suicide – and you’re not expected to be. There are professionals, right here in our community, who are. They can help you overcome an immediate crisis, seek long-term help, and work towards healing and growth. Remember – it’s not your job to save their life. It’s your job to help them find someone who can.
  4. Support Third Level
    Third Level is available 24 hours a day to provide immediate crisis counseling and suicide prevention services to our community. It takes a lot of work – and money – to have trained crisis counselors available 24 hours. Support from our community keeps this vital program available to the 30,000+ contacts we receive each year.
    Donate, volunteer, and advocate to help us combat suicide.

Call Third Level now for immediate assistance. Third Level is part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained, compassionate, knowledgeable counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help anyone who may be struggling with life’s challenges. From finding help to pay a utility bill to conquering thoughts of suicide, Third Level is there for you.

Third Level (24 hours):

(231) 922-4800 or (800) 442-7315
(231) 480-0292 (texting line)
1022 E Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49686