Know How to be Helpful
If Someone You Know is Thinking About Suicide:
- Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
- Listen to their story. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept that they feel this way.
- Be non-judgmental. Avoid debate about whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad or the value of life.
- Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
- Let them know you care.
- Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support for yourself and the person thinking of suicide.
- Assist the person to make a plan involving trusted people and/or professionals to help the person stay safe until they are no longer thinking of suicide.
- Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not discount their feelings by saying things like, “you’ll feel better in no time.”
- Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
Get help immediately. Call 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) now!
Know the Warning Signs
The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
- 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 isolating themselves.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
- Giving away treasured items or pets.
Understand Their Feelings
People In Crisis Often Feel They Can’t:
- Stop the pain.
- Think clearly.
- Make decisions.
- See any way out.
- Sleep, eat or work.
- Get out of depression.
- Make the sadness go away.
- See a future without pain.
- See themselves as worthwhile.
- Get someone’s attention.
- Seem to get control.