IN AN EMERGENCY CALL THE NATIONAL HOTLINE
1-800-799-4TTY (4889) Deaf Hotline
Please contact your local Crisis Hot Line or Locate a Center Near You
Note: In 2012, Clusterbusters visited the offices of SAMHSA, the agency charged with reducing suicide in the United States. Following these meetings, and working with the agency, we, along with our medical associates drafted training materials for all suicide hotline operators. No longer are the suicide hotlines unaware of “suicide headaches” and how best to handle such calls.
If you are feeling suicidal…
There are several ways to find assistance:
- Check your phone directory for the listing of your local crisis center.
- http://suicidehotlines.com/ For suicide prevention and emotional crisis – helps find hotlines in your area
- http://www.befrienders.org/support/index.asp?PageURL=index.php (A 24-Hour confidential e-mail service by the Samaritans)
- Covenant House Nineline – 1-800-999-9999 – 24/7 free resource to help cope with stress, anxiety, loneliness, grief, anger, depression, thoughts of suicide and more.
- http://www.metanoia.org/suicide Contains conversations and writings for suicidal persons to read. If you’re feeling at all suicidal, be sure to read this page before you take any action. It might just save your life.
- http://suicidal.com/suicidalteens/ for teens and parents of teens
If you are concerned about someone…
If you are concerned that someone you know may be thinking of suicide, you can help.
Remember, as a helper, do not promise to do anything you do not want to do or that you cannot do.
- If the person is actively suicidal, get help immediately. Call your local crisis service or the police, or take the person to the emergency room of your local hospital. Do not leave the person alone.
If the person has attempted suicide and needs medical attention, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number.
The following are suggestions for helping someone who is suicidal:
- Ask the person – “Are you thinking of suicide?” Ask them if they have a plan and if they have the means. Asking someone if they are suicidal will not make them suicidal. Most likely they will be relieved that you have asked. Experts believe that most people are ambivalent about their wish to die.
- Listen actively to what the person is saying to you. Remain calm and do not judge what you are being told. Do not advise the person not to feel the way they are.
- Reassure the person that there is help for their problems and reassure them that they are not “bad” or “stupid” because they are thinking about suicide.
- Help the person break down their problem(s) into more manageable pieces. It is easier to deal with one problem at a time.
- Emphasize that there are ways other than suicide to solve problems. Help the person to explore these options, for example, ask them what else they could do to change their situation.
- Offer to investigate counseling services.
- Do not agree to keep the person’s suicidal thoughts or plans a secret. Helping someone who is suicidal can be very stressful. Get help – ask family members and friends for their assistance and to share the responsibility.
- Suggest that the person see a doctor for a complete physical. Although there are many things that family and friends can do to help, there may be underlying medical problems that require professional intervention. Your doctor can also refer patients to a psychiatrist, if necessary.
- Try to get the person to see a trained counselor. Do not be surprised if the person refuses to go to a counselor – but be persistent. There are many types of caregivers for the suicidal. If the person will not go to a psychologist, or a psychiatrist, suggest, for example, they talk to a clergyperson, a guidance counselor or a teacher.
We hope these suggestions will help you. Don’t forget to check your phone directory for the number of the local crisis service.
Mental illnesses and suicides spike on campus. What is surprising, however; is that only 25% of college students seek help for their mental health problems.
In order to help students who have considered, or previously attempted, suicide as they make their way to college, a comprehensive guide has been designed that aims to:
Lower the stigma associated with suicide, depression, and getting help
Highlight suicide risk factors, warning signs, and high-risk populations
Demonstrate how to find a college with strong mental health resources