If someone you know is thinking about suicide…
1. Take it seriously, even if your friend brushes it off. Suicidal ideation (continual suicidal thoughts) is not typical, and it reflects a larger problem.
2. An angry friend is better than a dead friend.
3. Ask, listen, tell, if the threat is immediate stay with the person.
4. Bring friend to a trusted adult. If they don’t know what to do or don’t take it seriously find another adult.
5. Be a good listener but remember that having suicidal thoughts reflects a bigger underlying problem such as depression, substance problems, abuse, or problem-solving difficulties. You can listen, but they need to speak to a professional.
6. Thirty percent (30%) of those who attempt suicide tell someone before, but many don’t tell anyone after.
- When some talks to you, that is the moment for intervention
- With each suicide attempt, risk of suicide increases.
7. Warning Signs
- Change in mood: sadness, anxiety, irritability
- Change in behavior: isolation
- Change in sleep
- Change in appetite
- Increase in aggression or impulsiveness
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Saying things like “No one will miss me” or “You’ll be better off” (feeling like a burden)
- Feeling ashamed or humiliated, or desperation, as after a break-up or test
- Collecting means
- Talking about wanting to kill themselves
- Drop in grades
- Giving away prized possessions
Find help fast
- In an emergency, call 911.
- Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area at any time (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline).
- If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.
Where to go: Psychiatric hospital walk-in clinic; hospital emergency room; urgent care center or clinic