UNDERSTANDING AND HELPING THE SUICIDAL PERSON
Each year over 40,000 individuals die by suicide – this is over 110 individuals each day! More Americans die by suicide each year than by homicide. Another 1500 individuals attempt suicide each day! The person most likely to PREVENT someone from taking their own life is someone they already know!
What are the WARNING SIGNS of Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors?
- Talking about wanting to die or wanting to commit suicide.
- Feeling Hopeless and Helpless or feeling trapped or a burden to others.
- Looking for ways or means to kill oneself.
- Drastic changes in behavior or mood.
- Withdrawing from friends, family and activities.
- Difficulties in eating or sleeping.
- Giving away prized possessions/making a will or “final arrangements”.
- Increasing use of alcohol or other drugs.
- History of previous suicide attempts.
What Can We Do?
- Be Direct—talk openly—ask the person if they are thinking about killing themselves. Question the person openly, honestly and directly.
- Be willing to Listen and encourage them to express how they are feeling.
- Show that you Care and are available and willing to help them.
- Offer HOPE that there are alternatives and that HELP is available.
- Remove any objects or means that are available and could be used in a suicide attempt.
- Do not leave the person alone.
- Persuade the person through open, honest, and caring listening to agree to seek help.
- Get Help from any available resource skilled in crisis intervention and suicide prevention- A local Crisis Line or Suicide Prevention Line; the National Suicide Prevention Life Line (1-800-273-8255); the closest Emergency Room; local community mental health agency or other mental health professionals. Make these Referrals and if necessary take the person to an appropriate mental health professional or Emergency Room.
Your willingness to Listen and to Help can rekindle HOPE and CAN make all the difference! HOPE Helps Prevent Suicide!
For Help, additional information or to schedule a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention) Training, contact Clinical Director Scott Campbell at 847-382-4673 (HOPE), extension 316