Support & Resources for Individuals

I’m Concerned About Someone

If you are worried that someone is in immediate danger or may have already acted on suicidal thoughts, call 911.

Most people thinking about suicide exhibit recognizable warning signs before ever taking any action. These include:¹

  • Talking about killing oneself, feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, being a burden to others, feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Looking for ways to end their lives
  • Saying goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Aggression, fatigue, sleeping too much or too little
  • Displaying moods of depression, anxiety, loss of interest, irritability, humiliation, shame, agitation, or anger
  • Relief or sudden improvement

New or changed behavior should raise red flags, particularly if related to a painful event, loss, or change.

  • Look out for specific talk about suicide. Someone who is suicidal may say things like:
  • “I don’t know how much longer I can take this”
  • “They will be sorry once I’m gone”
  • “I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up”
  • “I’ve been saving up my pills in case things get really bad”

If someone you know is exhibiting any of these warning signs:

  • Ask them openly and directly if they are thinking about suicide
  • Ask them to tell you about what has been going on and LISTEN to them
  • Avoid discussing the value of life, minimizing problems, or giving advice
  • Link them to additional resources, let them know it is important to get help, and stay with them while exploring options

Easily accessible, 24/7 resources are available for someone in crisis. Share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – and Crisis Text Line information – text ‘Got5’ to 741-741. 

Learn more about the #BeThe1To campaign to spread the message about the five steps everyone can take to help someone in crisis.

 

References:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Risk factors and warning signs. 2016. Retrieved from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

 

I’m Concerned About Myself

If you are in crisis:

  • Call 911
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Text “Got5” to 741-741

If you are thinking about suicide but are not in immediate crisis:

  • Suicidal thoughts come and go. Make a promise to yourself not to do anything right now.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Make your home safe by removing anything that could be used to hurt yourself
  • Take hope in that people do get through this
  • Reach out to someone you trust for help

If you are not sure how to talk about your suicidal thoughts, describe your internal thoughts. If you have a plan, explain it. Specifically say that you are thinking about suicide. If you do not feel comfortable saying these things, write a note, email, or text and sit with the person while the message is being read.

Contact your primary or mental health care provider and make an appointment. Visit the New York State Office of Mental Health Program Directory to find a behavioral health provider near you.

I Lost Someone to Suicide

If you have lost someone to suicide, you are not alone. There is a “loss survivor” community out there made up of individuals who have been greatly impacted by the loss of a friend or family member to suicide. Losing someone to suicide shocks the senses and can leave loss survivors feeling that life is futile and unfair. Loss survivors may also experience a complex grief characterized by guilt, blame, fear, and confusion. Questions are left unanswered for those who struggle to understand why.

There is no right or wrong way to cope with a suicide loss. For more information, visit the resources for loss survivors pages of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the American Association of Suicidology.

I’m an Attempt Survivor

If you have made a suicide attempt, you may experience a wide range of emotions. Everyone’s path forward is unique. Here are some key things to understand and consider:

  • There is no “common” reaction following an attempt. You could be feeling several ways, none of which are unusual.
  • It is important to talk about what happened with those whom you trust. You can tell them that you are coping, such as “Things have been really tough for me lately and I attempted suicide. I just wanted to let you know what I have been dealing with and that I am trying to get back on track.”
  • Acknowledge those that supported you by thanking them and letting them know you appreciate their support.

If thoughts of suicide return, do not keep them to yourself. Talk to someone you trust, contact your primary or mental health provider, or find a support group. If you do not have a mental health provider, visit the New York State Office of Mental Health Program Directory to find a provider near you. Ask your mental health provider to help you create a safety plan. You can even download the MY3 app on your Apple or Android device to store your safety plan, to identify three people you would contact in a crisis, and to keep a list of mental health resources on hand.

For additional information and resources, visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or the American Association of Suicidology attempt survivor pages. Visit Live Through This for stories from attempt survivors.

Creating Safer Environments / Lethal Means Reduction

Suicide is cyclical in nature. Suicidal urges come and go. Because many suicide attempts occur with little planning during a short-term crisis, if the means to make the attempt are not there, it is likely that the suicidal urge will dissipate before any attempt is made. Therefore, reducing access to lethal means is critical to preventing suicide among those at-risk. This includes removal or safe storage of firearms, prescription medication, and other high-risk items. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has identified reducing access to firearms as a way to save the most lives in the shortest amount of time. Visit the AFSP Project 2025 website for more information!

Healthcare providers, family, and friends all play a key role in lethal means reduction and creating safer environments around those who are at-risk for suicide. Family members should safely store guns and/or prescription medication during times of crisis. Healthcare providers should conduct a Stanley Brown Safety Planning Intervention with patients who are at-risk, step six of which is counseling patients and developing a plan for reducing access to lethal means.

The following free, online trainings are available for healthcare providers:

  • Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) training instructs participants how to:
    • Identify those who would benefit from lethal means counseling,
    • Ask about access to lethal methods, and
    • Work with patients and families to reduce access.
  • Safety Planning Intervention for Suicide Prevention training:
    • Describes the intervention and how it can help
    • Explains when to work with individuals to create a safety plan
    • Describes the steps in creating the safety plan.

There are mobile apps available so that safety plans are easily accessible to individuals at-risk. Encourage your patients or clients to download MY3 or the Stanley Brown Safety Plan app and discuss their safety plans during appointments.

Resources

References

  1. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Risk factors and warning signs. 2016. Retrieved from https://afsp.org/about-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/.