You can help prevent suicide.
People who are suicidal often say or do things that are signals of their intentions. These warning signs provide a good opportunity to start a conversation, even if it is difficult. You may be unsure of how you can help, or uncertain of whether the person is actually in serious trouble, but asking about their feelings or intentions is an important first step. Talking specifically about suicide does not cause it to happen or plant the idea. Communicating your concern and offering to find help together, could save a life. If you are concerned about someone, don’t hesitate to take action right away!
Here's how you can help:
- Learn the warning signs for suicide.
People thinking of ending their life often give hints about their intentions. Become familiar with the warning signs and not only take them seriously, but don’t wait to take action.
- Reach out and stay involved.
Withdrawing from friends and family, not returning phone calls, not participating in activities the person previously enjoyed can be warning signs of feeling troubled. Continue to reach out, be persistent and don’t give up. Your efforts let people know you care about them.
- Start the conversation.
Let the person you care about know you are concerned about them. You could say:
"I am worried about you."
"It seems like something is bothering you."
"You don’t seem like yourself lately. How can I help?"
- Be direct and ask questions; even the ones you may be afraid to ask such as:
"Are you depressed?"
"Are you feeling that there is no way out?"
"Are you thinking about ending your life?"
- If you think the person is suicidal:
Stay with them, listen to them and take them seriously. Help them get help. Tell them to call the San Diego Crisis Hotline at (888) 724-7240 to talk to someone about how they are feeling. If you don’t think they are able to do this on their own, then offer to call with them.
Remember, even as a helper, you are not in this alone. You don’t need to provide support all by yourself, but consider yourself the link to getting the person you care about the help they need. Reach out to other friends, family members, or a clergy person, rabbi or other faith leader. If you are concerned about the safety of a young person, encourage them to talk to an adult they trust and let them know that they are not alone. Suggest they call and talk to a counselor on the confidential San Diego Crisis Hotline (888) 724-7240. Again, if the person you are concerned about, no matter what their age, is scared or may not want to call, offer to call with them. You could save their life!