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Support for survivors of suicide loss
KNOW THE SIGNS
Pain isn’t always obvious, but most suicidal people show some signs that they are thinking about suicide. The signs may appear in conversations, through their actions, or in social media posts. If you observe one or more of these warning signs, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change, step in or speak up.
FIND THE WORDS
“Are you thinking of ending your life?” Few phrases are as difficult to say to a loved one.
But when it comes to suicide prevention, none are more important. Here are some ways to get the conversation started.
“I’ve noticed that you’ve mentioned feeling hopeless a lot lately…”
“Sometimes when people feel like that, they are thinking about suicide. Are you thinking about suicide?”
“Are you thinking about ending your life?”
“I can imagine how tough this must be for you. I understand when you say that you aren’t sure if you want to live or die. But have you always wanted to die? Well, maybe there’s a chance you won’t feel this way forever. I can help”
“I’m deeply concerned about you and I want you to know that help is available to get you through this.”
“Do you have any weapons or prescription medications in the house?”
“Is there someone you can call if you think you may act on your thoughts of suicide?”
“Will you promise me that you will not drink or at least have someone monitor your drinking until we can get you help?”
“Please promise me that you will not harm yourself or act on any thoughts of suicide until you meet with a professional.”
“I understand if it feels awkward to go see a counselor. But there is a phone number we can call to talk to somebody. Maybe they can help?”
“You’re not thinking about suicide, are you?” OR, “You’re not thinking about doing something stupid, are you?”
“Fine! If you want to be selfish and kill yourself then go right ahead! See if I care.”
Don’t Say: “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. Your secret is safe with me.”
People can call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org for themselves or if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
988 serves as a universal entry point so that no matter where you live in the United States, you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help.
988 offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress.
That could be:
- Thoughts of suicide
- Mental health or substance use crisis
- Any other kind of emotional distress