It can be scary when a friend or loved one is thinking about suicide. Let us help. If someone you know has any warning signs, we encourage you to call us, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-8255 so that you can find out what resources are available in your area. Your call is routed to the Lifeline center closest to your area code. The local crisis center may have resources such as counseling or in-patient treatment centers for your friend or family member. Most importantly, please encourage them to call the Lifeline.
How to Be Helpful to Someone Who Is Talking About Suicide
- Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
- Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
- Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad.
- Don’t lecture on the value of life.
- Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
- Don’t dare him or her to do it.
- Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
- Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
- Offer hope that alternatives are available, but do not offer glib reassurance.
- Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
- Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
Be Aware of Feelings
Many people at some time in their lives think about suicide. Most decide to live because they eventually come to realize that the crisis is temporary and death is permanent. However, people having a crisis sometimes perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control. These are some of the feelings and thoughts they experience:
- Can’t stop the pain
- Can’t think clearly
- Can’t make decisions
- Can’t see any way out
- Can’t sleep, eat, or work
- Can’t get out of depression
- Can’t make the sadness go away
- Can’t see a future without pain
- Can’t see themselves as worthwhile
- Can’t get someone’s attention
- Can’t seem to get control
Know The Local Public Crisis Resources
Adult Crisis Referrals
- Berkeley Mental Health
- Cherry Hill Detoxification and Sobering Center
- Crisis Response Program
- Jay Mahler Recovery Center
- John George Psychiatric Pavilion
Adolescent and Children Crisis Referrals
After a Suicide Attempt and Emergency Room Visit
Suicidal thoughts and actions generate conflicting feelings in family members who love the person who wishes to take his or her own life. That is why this guide was developed for you. It will give you some important points on how to take care of yourself and your family member following a suicide attempt and it will provide resources to help you move forward.
To learn more about how to help yourself and others: