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It’s estimated that suicide claims around a million lives each year. In 2020, rates of suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and deaths by suicide rose by about 20%. It’s abundantly clear that suicide is a serious and growing problem. Those considering suicide often feel lost and hopeless. Most don’t want to die; they just want the emotional pain they are in to end. It’s important that sufferers realize what’s happening and feel that it’s safe to seek help. However, it’s also important that other people know what suicidal ideation looks like and are ready to step in if one of their friends or family members starts displaying concerning symptoms.
Noticing the Signs
Most of those who attempt suicide display warning signs. It’s important that people know these signs so they can recognize them in their family, coworkers, or friends; typically, those experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideation respond better to family or friends reaching out. One common sign is talking about suicide or suddenly acquiring the means to end their lives. Someone suddenly showing an interest in knives, for example, could be a cause for concern, especially if that same person brings up feelings of hopelessness or despair.
- Risk Factors, Protective Factors, and Warning Signs
- Signs and Symptoms of Suicidal Ideation
- Warning Signs Someone May Be Considering Suicide
- How to Spot Signs of Suicidal Ideation
- Five Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior That Are Easy to Miss
- How to Spot the Warning Signs of Suicide
- Warning Signs
- Could You Spot the Signs of Suicide Risk?
- Learn to Recognize the Subtle Warning Signs of Suicide
- Suicide Prevention in Children Ages 10 to 19 Years
Precautions You Can Take
Quick intervention is vital when it’s suspected that someone is experiencing suicidal ideation. Talk to the person openly. It’s often difficult, but having someone care and show empathy is incredibly helpful to someone feeling lost. It might be just the emotional safety valve the person needs to work through their feelings. It’s also important to reach out for professional help if needed. Don’t be confrontational or argumentative with anyone suspected of considering suicide. Also, remove the means of suicide from the person’s immediate environment.
- Suicide Safety: Precautions at Home
- Reduce Access to Means of Suicide
- Reduce Access to Reduce Suicides
- What Corrections Professionals Can Do to Prevent Suicide
- National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide
- “Connect to Protect” for Suicide Prevention Month
- Suicide Prevention in Schools
- Preventing Suicide in Older Adults
- Promoting Emotional Help and Preventing Suicide
- Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies for Suicide Among the Elderly
What to Do After an Attempt
It’s important that people who have survived an attempt get the help they need to make sure that another attempt doesn’t happen. One helpful action is to make a safety plan. The safety plan should spell out exactly when the person should seek help and have phone numbers for personal support and professional care. People recovering from an attempt also need a strong support system around them. It’s also important that they restart their daily activities as soon as possible. This is often difficult, but it’s a necessary step.
- Supporting Someone After a Suicide Attempt
- Real Advice for Those Who Have Attempted Suicide and Want to Step Back Into Life
- Supporting Partners After a Suicide Attempt
- I Treat Teens Who Attempted Suicide: Here’s What They Told Me
- How to Talk to a Child About a Suicide Attempt in Your Family
- Finding Hope: Help Is Available After Surviving a Suicide Attempt
- How to Cope if Your Child Has Attempted Suicide
- Responding to Attempted Suicide
- After an Attempt
- Navigating Health Insurance Following a Suicide Attempt
Additional Mental Health Resources
- Tips for Taking Care of Yourself and Others: The doctor in this video discusses how to help others through mental crises and also how people can help themselves.
- Can You Stop the Cycle of Generational Trauma? Generational trauma is when trauma done to a person or a group of people is passed down from generation to generation.
- How to Stop Being Codependent in Relationships: Codependency is when one person depends on another for their emotional or social well-being.
- Thinking Clearly About Personality Disorders: Personality disorders are perhaps the most misunderstood form of mental disorders.
- Mental Health Myths and Facts: One enduring myth is that people with mental illnesses just aren’t trying hard enough to be healthy.
- Crisis Hotlines and Resources: There are hotlines available for to help with different issues and population groups.
- Can Grief and Loss Lead to Mental Illness? Grief is painful for everyone, but for some people, it develops into chronic grief.
- Mental Health Disorders We Don’t Talk About Enough: Thirty million Americans live with an eating disorder. Often, people think this is an issue only for adolescent girls, but it impacts people of all ages.