Learning the warning signs and how to talk about suicide can help us help others.
- Feeling like a burden
- Financial loss or instability
- Giving away belongings
- Follow up with texts, calls or face-to-face visits
- Increased Anxiety
- Physical Pain
- Increased substance use
- Looking to harm themselves
- Looking for access to guns or other lethal means
- Extreme mood swings
- Withdrawal or social isolation
- Personality change
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Talking about death
#BeThe1To promotes five action steps to help you communicate with someone who may be thinking of suicide.
- Ask directly if they are thinking about suicide, then listen without judgment. If someone says they are, call 988 or 9-1-1.
- Keep people safe by removing access to potentially dangerous household items like firearms or medications.
- Be there. Make an emotional connection. Let them know that you care.
- Help them connect to support. Ensure they have hotline numbers programmed into their phone or written where they can easily find them.
- Follow up with texts, calls or face-to-face visits.
Suicide affects all people. Unfortunately, our society often paints suicide the way they would a prison sentence—a permanent situation that brands an individual. However, suicidal ideation is not a label. Instead, it signifies someone is profoundly suffering and needs treatment. Falsehoods like these can prevent people from getting the help they need to get better.
Debunking common suicide myths can help society realize the importance of assisting others in seeking treatment. It can show individuals the importance of addressing their mental health challenges. Learn about how to debunk common myths from NAMI.
Being an advocate for suicide prevention can take many forms. Some examples:
- Talking to someone you haven’t heard from in a while.
- Connecting with community and peer support programs.
- Learning to recognize the warning signs.
- Not shying away from talking about suicide.
- Storing firearms locked and unloaded.
- Supporting community center development.
- Participating in after-school programs.