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Suicide Prevention

If you are feeling suicidal or are concerned about someone else, please call the
Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK or go to http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

If you are interested in being added to a general suicide prevention mailing list that receives periodic messages including training opportunities, research summaries, and other announcements, click here to be added to the list.

Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in 2015 for all Iowans and the eighth for males.  Also in 2015, suicide was the second leading cause of death for Iowans ages 15-44, and fifth leading cause of death for Iowans ages 5-14 and 45-54. IDPH's suicide prevention program works with communities and related partners to provide information about signs and symptoms of depression and suicide, and develop suicide prevention strategies.

Iowa Suicide Prevention Plan 2015-2018 

The program is funded through a federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Staff conducts training for community and school professionals on youth suicide risk and prevention strategies. The program analyzes vital statistics and population-based survey data, and supports community awareness activities.

Depression and Suicide

Most people who are suicidal have some history of depression. Signs of depression may include:

  • Persistent sad or "empty" mood.
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless, pessimistic and/or guilty.
  • Fatigue or loss of interest in ordinary activities.
  • Disturbances in eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Feeling restless, irritable, or agitated for no apparent reason.
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.
  • Additional Information

Some signs of suicidal behavior are:

  • Thinking, talking or wishing about suicide
  • Making statements about feeling hopeless, helpless, or worthless.
  • Feeling that one has no sense of purpose or belonging; believing there is nothing to live for.
  • Doing reckless or risky behaviors, such as driving at high speeds.
  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Increased use or change in use of substances, such as alcohol or drugs
  • Anger
  • Withdrawing from family, friends, work, school, activities, hobbies
  • Suddenly feeling happier, calmer, after a period of depression or hopelessness.
  • Making "final" arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
  • Additional Information

Upcoming Events

  • Polk County Suicide Prevention Coalition: meets the first Thursday of each month

Related Links - State

Related Links - National

Additional Resources

IDPH funds community programs to identify youth who are most at risk for suicide and provide assessment and referral for services. For more information, contact (515) 281-5444 or use the "Contact Us" page for additional information or assistance.