HOW CAN YOU TELL IF SOMEONE MIGHT BE SUICIDAL?
Recognize the Warning Signs
ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT:
Having no reason to live
Being a burden to others
Some behaviors may indicate that a person is at immediate risk for suicide. The following three should prompt you to immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or a mental health professional.
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
- Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or obtaining a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
- Giving away prized possessions
Other behaviors may also indicate a serious risk—especially if the behavior is new; has increased; and/or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
WHAT TO DO
IF YOU NOTICE THE SIGNS:
- If you recognize the warning signs, ask them the question:
- Are you thinking about killing yourself?
- Are you thinking about ending your life?
- Are you thinking about suicide?
- DO ask if you’ve identified the warning signs.
- DO ask the question in a way that is natural and flows with the conversation.
- DO stay with them
- DO validate their feelings
- DO offer Support
- DO direct them to help
- DON’T judge
- DON’T ask the question as if you are looking for a “no” answer.
- DON’T wait to ask until they are halfway out of the door.
BE AWARE OF CHANGES:
- Overall health: Any mental health issues, prolonged lack of sleep/insomnia, terminal illness, new diagnosis
- Environment: Access to firearms, prolonged stress, traumatic event, exposure to suicide
- History: Previous attempts, family history, abuse, or trauma
WHAT TO SAY TO THEM
LISTEN. VALIDATE. OFFER HOPE.
- Stay Stay
- with the person or have someone stay with them – do not leave them alone, even briefly
- Provide support
- Don’t judge or act angry
- Get Help
- Determine if they can be safe
- Involve others in their support system
- Consider getting professional help
- If they cannot be safe:
- Community Crisis Center open 24/7 walk-in or call 660-7500
- Local emergency department
- Call 911 – ask for CIT Officer
- Talk to your employer about bringing a training into your workplace
- Talk to your children’s school about bringing a training in
- Talk to your friends and family, check in on them
CRISIS TEXT LINE
Text to 741741
COMMUNITY CRISIS CENTER
Walk-in 24/7 at 635 N. Main
NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE
1 (800) 273-TALK
THE TREVOR PROJECT LIFELINE (LGBTQ)
1 (866) 488-7386
1 (877) 565-8860