Suicide Prevention: Spotting Signs & Getting Help in a Crisis
Suicide prevention is essential to the health of a community and the well-being of individuals. As such, it’s important for everyone to know how to spot signs of suicide and how to provide help to those in crisis.
There are various red flags that might indicate someone is struggling with suicidal thoughts or plans. While every situation is unique, some common signs can include:
- Talking about wanting to die or wanting to end one’s life
- Speaking about feeling hopeless
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- Isolating oneself from family, friends, and activities
- Giving away prized possessions
How to Help
If you believe someone is in crisis, there are several proactive steps you can take to help.
- Reach out. Start a conversation with the person about their feelings and talk openly. You don’t need to have all the answers or solutions, but expressing empathy and concern can help.
- Listen actively. Let the person know you’re there and listening. Show them you understand and support them. It’s important to be patient and avoid expressing judgement.
- Offer help.Connect the person with resources and professionals trained to help people in crisis. Research local resources and share contact information with the individual. Helpful resources might include:
- Mental health professionals
- Suicide prevention and crisis hotlines
- Religious or spiritual leaders
- Community support groups
- Stay in touch. Show your support by staying in touch and checking in. This can be a way for the person to feel connected, build trust, and find the help they need.
Suicidality is a Serious Issue
Suicide prevention is a critical issue and any signs of suicidal ideation should be taken seriously. If you or someone you know is in crisis, reach out for help. If you can’t find the right resources, consider calling a suicide hotline or a mental health professional.
No one is ever alone in a crisis and there are many effective treatments available to help an individual effectively manage their mental health. With the right treatment, individuals can work through their suicidal thoughts and gain the support they need.