Why talk about suicide?

  • Suicide is preventable
  • Connections to family and friends or to health professionals keep people alive
  • Crises pass
  • Most people who are suicidal do not actually want to die. They only want their emotional pain to stop, but people who are depressed don’t see choices and feel hopeless. Suicide prevention with a clinician shows them they have options
  • No one is immune

Suicide Risk Factors

  • Male
  • Age: 20-44 or older adult
  • Depressed
  • Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)
  • Low social support
  • Does not have a spouse or intimate partner
  • Prior suicide attempt(s)
  • Has a plan and means
  • Chronic illness
  • Starting anti-depressant medication (this is a time to be watchful because medication may lead to an energy boost while the individual is still depressed)

Warning Signs

  • Withdrawal/ isolation from family and friends
  • Talking or thinking about suicide/death
  • Giving away possessions/putting affairs in order
  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling trapped/hopeless
  • Purposelessness
  • Recklessness
  • Anger

If you answered, ”Yes” to the above points, please call 911 or a health professional or suicide hotline (See resources below).


  • you need to talk to someone
  • Crises pass
  • You may feel embarrassed, but it is natural to have suicidal thoughts when coping resources are exhausted
  • Others DO care and are willing to help

What do you do if you are concerned about someone you know?

Ask, “Are you thinking of hurting yourself?”

  • Encourage the person to talk
  • Listen and paraphrase what you hear
  • Refer to resources (see below): “How would you feel about talking to someone who could help you?”


  • Tell them what to do
  • Promise to keep a secret
  • Minimize
  • Judge
  • Talk too much about your own story


Call 911 if there is imminent danger to self or others

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

Your Life Your Choice: 24/7 Teen Crisis hotline

  • Call: 1(800) 448-3000

Crisis Text Hotline:

  • Text 741741 to text with a trained crisis counselor
  • Available to anyone but mostly used by teens
  • https://www.crisistextline.org
  • 24/7, all text messages are anonymous and free although charges may apply with carriers other than AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon

Crisis Chat Line:

The TrevorProject: