NY Cares About Preventing Suicide

I’m Concerned About Myself

If you are in crisis:

  • Call 911
  • Call  or text 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or visit their website to chat.
  • Text “Got5” to 741-741

If you are thinking about suicide, take steps to keep yourself safe:

  • Make a promise to yourself not to do anything right now. Remind yourself suicidal thoughts come and go.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make your home safe by removing anything that could be used to hurt yourself.
  • Stay hopeful. People do get through this.
  • Reach out to someone you trust for help.
  • 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.

If you are not sure how to talk about your suicidal thoughts, here are some things that might help:

  • Describe your internal thoughts.
  • If you have a plan to complete suicide, explain it to someone you trust.
  • Specifically say that you are thinking about suicide.
  • If you do not feel comfortable saying these things out loud: write a note, email, or a text and sit with someone you trust while they read your message.

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.

Look for the signs. Most people thinking about suicide show warning signs before taking action. These include:

  • 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

Pay attention to new or uncharacteristic behavior. Has your loved one experienced a painful event, loss or change? Take any talk of suicide seriously. 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”

Take action. 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

Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988, or chat on their website.
Crisis Text Line: Text ‘Got5’ to 741-741.

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

Click here to view the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s guide for helping someone who is suicidal.


I Lost Someone to Suicide

If you have lost someone to suicide, you are not alone. There is a community of “loss survivors” made up of people who have been impacted by a suicide death.

There is no right or wrong way to cope with a suicide loss.

Losing someone to suicide shocks the senses and can leave loss survivors feeling that life is futile and unfair. You may be left with unanswered questions and struggle to understand. Complex grief can also leave loss survivors with feelings of guilt, blame, fear, and confusion.

Visit the loss survivors pages at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the American Association of Suicidology.

I’m an Attempt Survivor

Everyone’s path forward is unique. Here are some key things to understand and consider:

  • No matter what you are feeling, it is okay. There is no “common” reaction following an attempt.
  • Talk about it with someone you trust. Here’s an idea about what to say: “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 the people who have been there for you and let 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. Use the New York State Office of Mental Health Program Directory to find a provider, if you need one.
  • Create a safety plan with your provider.

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 Suicide-Safer Environments

Suicidal urges come and go. Most people do not take a lot of time to plan out a suicide attempt. By safely storing or removing firearms, medications, illegal drugs and other deadly items, you can take steps to create a Suicide-Safer environment.

Firearm safety impacts suicide prevention.

Half of all suicide deaths in the U.S. involve a firearm. Men are more likely to use a gun to attempt suicide. Take these steps to keep loved ones safe:

  • Encourage the person to store their guns safely and securely, locked and unloaded.
  • If possible, help remove firearms from the person’s home when they are in crisis, until the danger passes. If removing the firearm from the home is not an option, then help them disable and/or safely secure the firearm.
  • Firearm retailers and range owners can help! As they have ongoing contact with the firearms-owning community, they are uniquely able to help prevent suicide. Visit the AFSP Project 2025 website for more information.
  • Help the person get the support they need; please go to Resources below for numbers and websites.

Reduce easy access to dangerous substances at home.

  • Safely dispose of unused, expired, and unwanted medications, including over-the counter medications.
  • Keep small quantities of medications that household members need at home. Lock up the rest. The goal is to limit medicines on hand to an amount that even if taken together would not cause serious harm.
  • A pharmacist can advise on specific medications and quantities. For example, if a person is at risk for overdose but must take a regular prescription, they may be safer with weekly instead of monthly refills.
  • Lock up or dispose of other potentially lethal substances, such as laundry and cleaning supplies, pesticides, and other household chemicals.
  • Know what is potentially lethal. Poison Control is a good source of information about common household hazards.

Other items can be used for self-harm and suicide.

  • Keep your vehicle keys with you at all times or consider locking them up when not in use.
  • Consider limiting ropes, electrical wire, and long cords within the home or lock them away.
  • Lock away knives, razor blades, and other sharp objects.
  • Secure and lock high-level windows and access to rooftops.