If you are suicidal:
- Know that you can get through this. These dark feelings will pass, and you can find your way back to hope.
- Are you safe right now? If not, please call 911.
- Do you need to talk to someone right now? Reach your local crisis line by calling 800-273-8255.
- Call us to inquire about an appointment. Working with a counselor who is comfortable and familiar with suicide is an important part of moving from feeling hopeless with life’s situations, to finding hope.
If you are worried about someone who may be feeling suicidal:
- It is extremely important that you ask them. Be direct. Ask “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” or “Are you thinking (or talking) about suicide?” When we are direct in our communication a person feels safer talking about these really scary feelings. If we avoid using words like “suicide,” the person could get the message that we really don’t want to talk about this. If someone trusts you enough to tell you they are feeling suicidal, they have given you a gift and possibly the opportunity to save their life.
- Listen to their feelings, don’t minimize them, and don’t argue with them.
- Get them suicide prevention help.
Suicidal thoughts and behavior are scary to most people. We want to reassure you of a few important things:
- Suicide ideation, or a suicidal crisis, is a transient state. It is not long-term and forever.
- Most suicidal people do not want to die. They are experiencing severe emotional pain and are desperate for the pain to go away. A suicidal person believes they have tried everything to stop the pain. However, the pain makes it difficult to think clearly, consider options, or remember reasons to stay alive.
- Seeking professional help is a really good first step towards easing the pain.
- We aren’t afraid to step into the darkness, alongside a suicidal person, and help them find their way.
- With the courage and hope that comes from not having to go it alone, we help a suicidal person feel more centered and gain access to their inner wisdom which can reveal choices that are safer, healthier, and life-affirming.
Suicidal people are often suffering from depression or anxiety. Suicide attempts are the sometimes-fatal end result of depression and anxiety, just as strokes or heart attacks are the sometimes-fatal end result of heart disease. However, depression and anxiety are highly treatable with therapy, and if needed, medication as well.
The following are some risk factors that can indicate the need for professional help, even before treatment for suicide may be required:
- Long term sadness
- Frequently crying
- Frequent anger outbursts
- Worrying or stressing over everything
- Sleeping problems (too much or can’t sleep)
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Drastic mood changes
- Low energy or feeling tired all the time
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Panic attacks
- Withdrawing from favorite activities and people
When you add several of these to the list below, a person may require intervention and treatment for suicide.
- Talking or joking about suicide
- Giving possessions away
- Drawing or writing about death
- Looking for or talking about ways to die
- Feeling as if they are a burden to others
- Feeling hopeless
- A sudden improvement in mood for no apparent reason