Help Is Here

You matter – and we’re here to help you find a way out of whatever is going on.

If you’re struggling or want to know how to help someone who is, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline any time of day or night:

Note: You can expect a response within 5 minutes.

One small gesture can help someone who is struggling.

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Suicide Warning Signs & Risk Factors

Everyone can do their part to help prevent suicide. Take the time to learn the warning signs and know the risk factors. Be mindful if any of the warning signs are new, have increased, or seem to be the result of a loss, change, or event. If you recognize any of these signs for yourself or with someone else, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Warning signs for suicide include:

  • Talks about killing themselves or wanting to die even in a “joking” way;
  • Investigates how to die by suicide and looks into ways to kill themselves, such as purchasing a gun;
  • Mentions feeling hopeless or not having a good reason to live;
  • Expresses feelings of pain or being trapped;
  • Experiences sudden weight gain, weight loss, or other changes in appearance;
  • Says they are a burden to other people;
  • Uses or increases their use of drugs or alcohol;
  • Behaves recklessly or takes unnecessary risks;
  • Seems agitated or anxious;
  • Sleeps a lot or not at all;
  • Withdraws from people and activities;
  • Demonstrates rage or speaks of revenge;
  • Experiences extreme mood swings.

Risk factors for suicide include:

  • Mental, mood, anxiety, and some personality disorders;
  • Alcohol and substance use issues;
  • Hopelessness;
  • Tendency toward impulsiveness or aggression;
  • History of trauma or abuse;
  • Major physical illness;
  • Previous suicide attempt(s);
  • Family history of suicide;
  • Suicide exposure either in real-life or on social media;
  • Job loss or financial catastrophe;
  • Access to lethal means;
  • Local cluster of suicides;
  • Feeling isolated and/or lacking social support;
  • Fear of stigma in asking for help;
  • Shortage of healthcare services, especially mental health and substance abuse;
  • Cultural or religious background and beliefs.

*Warning Signs & Risk Factors Adapted from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

How to Help Yourself

If you’re having a hard time and don’t know what to do, please know that you are not alone. Talking to someone, asking for help, or just acknowledging that you want things to get better is a remarkable first step. It may not seem like it, but taking just one small step can make a big difference. Here are some steps you can take right now.

How to Help Someone Else

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Talk – and keep the conversation going.

Even though it’s a hard question, ask it anyway:
“Are you thinking about killing yourself?”

If the answer is “yes,” tell them how much they matter to you. Then, do your best to connect them to help. If you think they’re in crisis, do not leave the person alone.

It’s not your place to fix someone else. You can, however, help by listening, connecting them to places that can help, and by being championing them through the struggle.

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Listen

Research shows that people who are contemplating suicide are more likely to get help if they’re given the chance to have an open, non-judgmental conversation about how they’re feeling.

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    Share your observations – not your opinions.

    DO: “I’ve missed seeing you.”
    DON’T: “You never want to do anything anymore.”

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    Say back what you heard them tell you.

    DO: “What I heard you say is ...”
    DON’T: Move onto another subject.

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    Validate their feelings.

    DO: “That must make you feel alone. I know it would make me feel that way.”
    DON’T: “Everyone feels alone. Get over it.”

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    Follow up.

    DO: Check back in with the person.
    DON’T: Wait and assume everything is okay when it may not be.

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    Ask open-ended questions.

    DO: “What have you been up to?”
    DON’T: Ask yes or no questions like “Are you avoiding me?”

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Connect

Connecting someone you care about with mental health services may seem scary or like it's your place. It can, however, be the best way you can help them deal with whatever it is they're going through. Find a local mental health service provider.

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Advocate

Keep scrolling for some proven ideas to make it easier for someone to seek mental health care.

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    Explain that it’s okay to ask for help.

    Share a personal experience or simply let them know that counseling and other mental health services have helped millions of people overcome everyday challenges and negative ways of thinking.

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    Focus on now – and later.

    Express that effective mental health services can help them deal with what’s going on now as well as lead to long-term personal growth.

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    Let them have control of the decision.

    Offer your thoughts, experiences, and recommendations – but only as a guide to help them make an informed and empowered decision.

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    Make yourself available.

    Offer to go with them to their appointment. Just being there can often less anxiety and make it easier for them to connect. It’s a simple thing, but can greatly increase the probability they’ll follow through.

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    Applaud their courage.

    It takes strength to seek mental health care, so be sure to let them know what their willingness to do so means.

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Tips – for Survivors & Families

Losing a loved one to suicide transcends words. It may be one of the most difficult losses you will ever go through. It is emotional, exhausting, and overwhelming.

But you do not have to journey through your grief alone.

And you don’t have to give up hope of finding healing.