Suicide Awareness: Recognize The Signs
No one wants to think about it, but the reality is that suicide and suicidal thoughts are real. We all have times in our lives when we feel alone, hopeless, and like we don't belong. The critical thing to remember is that even if you feel this way, you are never really alone. There are people who care about you and want to help. This article will provide some tips for recognizing the signs of someone who is suicidal, as well as five resources you can turn to if you think someone might be suicidal or if you yourself are feeling suicidal.
Mental Illness and Suicide
Mental illness is a very real and serious issue that can lead to dire consequences if left unaddressed for extended periods of time. It is essential to be aware of the signs of mental illness and to get help if you or someone you know is struggling. If you are worried about someone, reach out to them and ask how they are doing. If they seem in danger of harming themselves, don't leave them alone and get help from a professional or a hotline immediately.
If you are struggling with mental illness, know that you are not alone and there is help available. Talk to your doctor or a therapist, and reach out to a support group or hotline if you need someone to talk to. There is no shame in getting help; it could save your life.
Recognizing Thoughts of Suicide
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, it's important to recognize the signs and get help. If you’ve been struggling with your mental health for a while, and you’re not sure if what you’ve been feeling is getting to a dangerous point, take a moment to check in with yourself. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be time for you to reach out to a doctor or therapist for help.
Feeling sad or depressed on most days
Feeling guilty or worthless
Feeling helpless and like there’s nothing you can do to feel better
Loss of interest in hobbies you once enjoyed
Loss of interest in relationships with friends, family, coworkers, or romantic partners
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Changes in eating (eating too much or not enough)
Having thoughts of injuring yourself or dying
Feeling the urge to prepare for the end of your life, including drawing up a will, making funeral plans, giving away possessions, cleaning/packing up your living spaces, etc.
If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, you should reach out to a professional and your loved ones for support.
Signs Someone is Suicidal
It can be challenging to tell if someone is suicidal, but there are some signs that you can look for. If you are worried about someone, you must talk to them about your concerns. Here are some signs that someone may be suicidal:
Talking about wanting to die or hurt themselves
Expressing feelings of being a burden on others
Expressing feelings of hopelessness or being trapped
Withdrawing from friends and activities
Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
Acting recklessly or engaging in risky behaviors
Sleeping too much or too little
Exhibiting changes in eating habits
Giving away prized possessions
Expressing rage or talking about seeking revenge
Preoccupation with death in their artwork, writing, or social media posts
Resources for Support
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, you must reach out for help. Here are some resources that can provide support:
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call: 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK)
Chat online: suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Support for people who are deaf and hard of hearing: 800-799-4889
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning young people under 25.
Chat online: thetrevorproject.org
Text: START to 678678
Support for Veterans and Their Loved Ones
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring, and confidential support 24/7.
Call: 800-273-8255 and Press 1
Chat online: veteranscrisisline.net
Send a text message: 838255
Support for people who are deaf and hard of hearing
Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 crisis support and trains volunteers to support people in crisis.
Text: TX to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis support in the U.S.
Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network
The MHTTC provides training and technical assistance to enhance the capacity of behavioral health and related workforces to deliver evidence-based practices to people with mental illness. Its Northeast and Caribbean region provides many resources in English and Spanish and recently produced two resources for assessing and evaluating suicide risk.
Texas Suicide Prevention Collaborative
provides free resources, educational information, phone apps, and training.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
AFSP has local chapters throughout the state that can deliver education programs to schools, workplaces, and communities.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Local NAMI chapters can deliver education programs to communities.
Help Outside the United States
To find a suicide helpline outside the United States, visit:
At Georgetown Counseling and Wellness, we provide a compassionate space for you to tell your story and fully acknowledge your reality, utilizing proven treatment techniques. Our clinicians are trained to help you or your loved one navigate and overcome struggles with depression and anxiety and develop healthy and positive life changes. In light of COVID-19, we offer telehealth sessions over HIPAA-compliant video chat platforms. We also offer in-person sessions. If you want to know more about our services, please don’t hesitate to reach out. (512) 400-4247.