Suicide is a hard topic, and it never gets easier to talk about it. We’ve collected some of our thoughts on suicide and reaching out for help in honor of National Suicide Awareness Week.
What to do if you are having suicidal thoughts
First, if you are having thoughts of suicide make a promise to yourself to wait at least 24 hours. Your thoughts do not have to become actions. After making yourself this promise reach out for help. Even if you feel alone there are many people in your life who want to support you. Do it right now.
If you cannot find someone to reach out to or they do not understand call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). These are free services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you need immediate help you can call 911.
The Impact of Suicide
Second, suicide is becoming a major public health concern in the United States. In 2017 it was the 10th leading cause of death overall (NIMH). The National Alliance on Mental Illness found that 1 in 5 adults with experience a mental health concern and come from a variety of racial, ethnic, and gender groups.
How do I know if someone I love is struggling with thoughts of suicide?
Common signs and symptoms of suicidal thoughts include:
Ways to cope with suicidal thoughts and feelings
Positive things to add to your life include:
Negative things to remove from your life include:
How can I help?
Listen. Notice your family and friends. Sometimes when a person is having suicidal thoughts it can feel impossible to reach out. Check on your people you know have struggles, check on your people who are always there for others, check on your people because you can, check on your people when you notice they are “off”, just check on your people.
Ask. Asking someone if they are thinking about hurting themselves or if they feels safe with not “put ideas in their head”. Asking your people lets them know you are a safe person to engage this conversation with. If someone shares they are having suicidal thoughts with you, take their concerns seriously and help connect them with a safe space.
Written by our counselors to help promote your help, hope, healing