In 2007 (latest available info) more than 34,000 people died by suicide.
A person dies by suicide about every 15 minutes in the United States.
A suicide attempt is estimated to be made every 60 seconds.
Suicide is the THIRD leading cause of death among youth ages 15-24
Easy access to firearms or other means
Acute or ongoing stress (job, school, relationships, pressures)
Past or present self injurious behavior
Chronic, excessive emotional or physical pain
Poor problem solving or coping skills
Psychiatric disorders (such as major and bi-polar depression, PTSD, substance abuse, schizophrenia, bulimia, anorexia nervosa, or personality disorders.
History of suicidal thoughts or attempts
Family history (of suicide, attempts, or psychiatric disorders)
Frequent talk or threats about suicide and/or death
Suicidal Plans (such as seeking access to a firearm, pills or other means, giving away prized possesions)
Observable Signs of Suicidal Depression (Constant anxiety, unrelenting low mood; Feelings of: hopelessness, pessimism, desperation, being trapped)
Withdrawal from friends, family and society
Sleep problems (too much or not enough)
Increased alcohol / drug use
Self-destructive, impulsive, risky behavior
Unexpected rage or anger
Dramatic mood changes
If you, or someone you know exhibits these warning signs, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for a referral.
How To Help
1.BE WILLING TO LISTEN: Someone who is thinking about suicide is consumed by their emotions and psychological pain. Allow them to talk about how they’re feeling. Don’t judge them for what they’re thinking or feeling and don’t try to offer advice or “fix” them. Just let them talk.
Let them know that you’re concerned and explain why
Ask if they are considering suicide or if they have a plan
- that you care
- that they are not alone
- that there are other options, and that hope and help exist
Don’t attempt to argue them out of suicide or give advice
Avoid saying things like:
“you have so much to live for” or “It’s not that bad”
2. SEEK HELP, NEVER BE SWORN TO SECRECY! Talk to someone you trust about what’s going on and seek support – for yourself – and for your friend or family member. Never keep thoughts or plans for suicide a secret.
Encourage them to seek help from a counselor, physician, or mental health professional immediately. Offer to go with them.
Give them the Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) if they are unsure of who to call. Offer to make the call for them.
Help them create a Safety Plan – click HERE for more about safety planning.
3. If Someone is in IMMEDIATE Danger: If a friend or loved one is threatening, talking about or making plans for suicide, these are signs of an acute crisis.
Do not leave the person alone
If possible, remove the means (firearms, drugs, sharp objects, etc.)
Take the person to a hospital, emergency room or walk in clinic
If the above options are not available, call 911 or 1-800-273-8255.
If You Are Thinking About Suicide
Thinking about suicide doesn’t make you “crazy” or abnormal. Many people think about suicide at some point in their lives, but do not act on the thought. When we are in crisis it’s hard to see what other options we may have in front of us, so please consider the following suggestions before acting on any thoughts of suicide.
#1 - Delay any action to end your life: Feelings change, and these thoughts will pass. Put it off, even if it’s for a day, or an hour, and allow yourself time to move through these thoughts. Remove the means that you may have available or ask a trusted friend or family member to remove them for you. Avoid drugs and alcohol as these can intensify your feelings and thoughts of suicide and affect your judgment.
#2 - Identify, and connect with your support team. Who are the people in your life that you can trust, that you can lean on? Identify them, and reach out to them. Never keep thoughts of suicide a secret! Let someone know what’s going on and that you need support.
Religious or Spiritual Leader
Mental Health Professional
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255 – available 24/7)
Surround yourself with as many supportive people as possible. Keep in mind that some people have the capacity to deal with things like this, and some don’t. Identify and reach out to the ones that can.
#3 – Create a Safety Plan: Safety Planning is a process of taking the time to write down signals that you are headed for emotional or mental distress, and the steps to take to stay healthy and safe. Download a safety plan HERE and ask a trusted friend or family member help you fill it out.
If you are in crisis, or are having thoughts of suicide and need immediate help – please call 1-800-273-8255 for free, confidential counseling 24/7.