Suicide Can Be Preventable
When someone considers suicide, it does not necessarily mean they want to end their life. It often means they have more pain than they can deal with at the moment, and are experiencing severe distress or feelings of hopelessness. The more you understand about suicide and suicidal thoughts, the better able you’ll be to help save a life.
What To Do
If a person says they are considering suicide, get immediate help.
- Take the person seriously
- Stay with them
- Help them remove lethal means
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
1 (800) 273-8255
- Text TALK to 741741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7
- Escort them to mental health services or an emergency room
Knowing The Signs
Knowing the warning signs can save a life – your own, or someone else’s. Suicide warning signs are not always obvious. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings secret.
Warning signs may include:
- Talking about or writing about suicide.
- Making statements such as, “I’m going to kill myself,” or “I wish I was dead.”
- Buying guns or knives, or stockpiling pills.
- Withdrawing from social contact.
- Experiencing severe mood swings.
- Thinking constantly about death, dying or violence.
- Suffering from depression or a sense of hopelessness.
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs.
- Changing a normal routine, including eating and sleeping patterns.
- Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly.
- Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order.
- Saying goodbye to people as if for the last time.
- Exhibiting personality changes, such as an outgoing person becoming withdrawn, or a well-behaved person suddenly acting rebellious.
What To Say
Knowing what to say to someone who is considering suicide can be difficult. Fortunately, you do not have to say much – starting the conversation, listening, and expressing concern go a long way in showing your support. Need inspiration? There are many good resources available for you to find the words. Asking about suicidal thoughts will not put the thought in their head, but will likely open up an important conversation.