Even if you don’t think the person will act upon them, if you believe the person is having thoughts about killing or hurting themself, they will need to talk about it with someone. This is a vital first step in the process of getting better. Let your friend, family member, co-worker, know that it is OK to have suicidal thoughts, but it’s not OK to keep the thoughts secret. Remind them to not be afraid to reach out or ask for help. Help is available and more options for getting help exist than ever before.
Reach out to at least one or more of the following to get a group to help:
- Family member
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Crisis Counselor 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or text 741741.
- Primary Care Doctor
- Mental Health Professional (Therapist)
- Teacher or educator you trust
- Church Leader
- Find a Support Group
If you are concerned about a friend, family member or co-worker, ask the questions:
In the past month,
- Have you wished you were dead or wished you could go to sleep and not wake up?
- Have you actually had any thoughts about killing yourself?
- If Yes to 2, answer questions 3, 4, 5 and 6
- If No to 2, go directly to question 6
- Have you thought about how you might do this?
- Have you had any intention of acting on these thoughts of killing yourself, as opposed to you have the thoughts but you definitely would not act on them?
- Have you started to work out or worked out the details of how to kill yourself? Do you intend to carry out this plan?
Always Ask This Question:
- Have you done anything, started to do anything, or prepared to do anything to end your life?
Examples: Collected pills, obtained a gun, gave away valuables, wrote a will or suicide note, held a gun but changed your mind, cut yourself, tried to hang yourself, etc.
Any Yes indicates the need for further care. However, if the answer to 4, 5 or 6 is Yes, immediately escort to Emergency Personnel for care, call 1-800-273-8255, text 741741 or call 911.
Trust your gut instincts even if the answers you receive are No — and if you’re concerned, help get the person to support services that can help.
Call 911 immediately if you see or hear the following:
- Someone threatening to hurt or kill him/herself or talking about wanting to die. Especially if the person has a weapon or item to hurt himself/herself.
- Searching for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to lethal means-whether that is online or physically in the moment of despair.
- Someone talking, writing, or posting on social media about death and suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person.