Know How to be Helpful
Mental Health First Aid trainings provide proven practices that will help you recognize the early signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance misuse. You will learn how to listen without judgement, and respond to and help someone in distress until they can get the professional care they may need.
The free eight-hour training is available for all New Yorkers as part of the City’s ThriveNYC Initiative.
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.