for Family & Friends
Possible Warnings for Suicide
- Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
- Looking for ways to kill oneself, such as searching online, stashing medications, or buying a firearm
- Talking about feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
Do not leave someone in an emotional crisis alone. For the time-being, remove firearms from the home and vehicles and secure them. Lock ammunition. Lock medications. Make sure to remove items which may be used for hanging, such as heavier ropes or sturdy cords. Make sure items are secured both inside and outside the home, such as in outbuildings. In addition, lock poisonous household chemicals and automotive products. Find out the laws for firearm handling, ownership and storage in your state.
Talk to the person at risk. It’s best to address any noticeable changes in behavior, especially linked to emotional pain or recent loss. Ask directly, “Are you thinking of suicide?” If the answer is “Yes,” then let them talk about their reasons, listen carefully, and be ready to connect them to help. In an emergency, call 911. For guidance on getting someone help for suicide thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a mental health care agency, or private providers for next steps.
Find your Community Services Board on the map below.