People who are thinking about suicide may not know they are depressed. Certain thoughts, feelings, and actions can be signals that let you know a person may need help. Watch for these warning signs of suicide.
Threats or talk of suicide
Buying a gun or other weapon or hoarding medicines
Statements such as “I won't be a problem much longer” or “Nothing matters”
Giving away items they own, making out a will, or planning their funeral
Suddenly being happy or calm after being depressed
Expressing feelings of being a burden to others
Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or other risky behaviors
Withdrawing from people and activities
Expressing feelings of hopelessness or being trapped
Sleeping too much or too little
Feeling there is no reason to live
Calling people to say goodbye
Experiencing chronic, unbearable pain
If you think a person you care about could be suicidal, ask, “Have you thought about suicide?” Most people will tell you the truth. If they say “yes,” they may already have a plan for how and when they will attempt it. Find out as much as you can. The more detailed the plan, and the easier it is to carry out, the more danger the person is in right now. Tell the person you are there for them and do not want them to harm him or herself. Do not wait to get help for the person.
Contact a local mental health clinic or the following:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
National Institute of Mental Health
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Mental Health America
National Suicide Hotline
Never leave the person alone. A person who is actively suicidal needs immediate psychiatric attention and continuous supervision. The person should never be left out of sight. Call 911 or a 24-hour suicide crisis hotline 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK). You can also take the person to the closest hospital emergency room (ER).
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.