you-are-not-alo_19535885_0a2d3057c70bcc31a21b8a86f8e7562c9692aa0c_0.pngSupport is Available

If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

ADAA is Here to Help:

    Suicide Prevention

    People who kill themselves exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or do. The more warning signs, the greater the risk.  American Foundation for Suicide Prevention offers this helpful guide:

    What to Watch For if You Feel Someone is at Risk:

    Talk
    If a person talks about:

    • Being a burden to others
    • Feeling trapped
    • Experiencing unbearable pain
    • Having no reason to live
    • Killing themselves

    Behavior
    Specific things to look out for include:

    • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
    • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means
    • Acting recklessly
    • Withdrawing from activities
    • Isolating from family and friends
    • Sleeping too much or too little
    • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
    • Giving away prized possessions
    • Aggression

    Mood
    People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

    • Depression
    • Loss of interest
    • Rage
    • Irritability
    • Humiliation
    • Anxiety

    NIMH offers this helpful tool:

    5 Action Steps for Helping Someone in Emotional Pain:

    1. Ask: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question but studies show that asking at-risk individuals  if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.
    2. Keep them safe: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means  can make a difference.
    3. Be there: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase  suicidal thoughts.
    4. Help them connect: Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number in your phone so it’s there when you need it: 1-800-8255 (TALK). You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.
    5. Stay Connected: Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown  the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.

    One more thing:

    It may be helpful to save several emergency numbers to your cell phone. The ability to get immediate help for yourself or for a friend can make a difference.

    • The phone number for a trusted friend or relative
    • The non-emergency number for the local police department
    • The Crisis Text Line: 741741
    • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

    Treatment Is Available

    Early diagnosis and intervention with appropriate treatment are critical steps to feeling better. Echoing ADAA's mission, Terence M. Keane, PhD, of the National Center for PTSD and the VA Boston Healthcare System (and ADAA member), emphasizes this: "If you're feeling depressed and alone, or know someone who is, effective treatments are available. Consult a mental health professional today."

    Both depression and anxiety carry a high risk of suicide," says Mark Pollack, MD, ADAA Past President and Grainger Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center. "More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable illness such as clinical depression, and often in combination with anxiety or substance use disorders and other treatable mental disorders."

    ADAA Support:

      Did You Know?

      • Suicide affects all age groups, including children. More people die from suicide than from automobile accidents. It was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States in 2013, according to the most recent available statistics from the Centers for Disease Control; that year saw more than 41,000 deaths.
      • ADAA conducted a 2015 survey with the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention indicates that although the large majority of Americans are interested in seeking mental health care, they also face great challenges in both finding and affording treatment. Here are other key survey findings:
        • The vast majority of American adults think suicide is at least sometimes preventable (94 percent).
        • More than half of all American adults have been affected by suicide in some way (55 percent).
        • Most adults (93 percent) would do something if someone close to them was thinking about suicide.
        • While most people (67 percent) said that if they were having thoughts of suicide they would tell someone, men are significantly more likely than women to say they would not tell anyone if they were contemplating suicide.
        • More than half (53 percent) did not know that people with anxiety or panic disorders are at risk for suicide, though they were aware that those diagnosed with depression and PTSD are at increased risk.
        • Of those who have received treatment for mental health conditions, most thought it was very or somewhat helpful, whether the treatment was in-person psychotherapy (82 percent), prescription medication (75 percent), or another form of treatment. 

      If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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