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Suicide Prevention

Suicide is tragic, yet often preventable, and MHAS and local prevention, treatment and support providers work diligently to help reduce deaths by suicide and to support survivors of suicide loss.  One of the best ways to take part in suicide prevention is to understand the issues concerning suicide and mental health. 

Know the Warning Signs

Most individuals who die by suicide show signs of distress. While it is not always easy to determine if someone you care about is at immediate risk of suicide, they may show one or more of the following warning signs.   

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves, even in a "joking" manner

  • Withdrawal from family and/or friends

  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun

  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live

  • Giving away prized possessions

  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain

  • Talking about being a burden to others

  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs

  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly

  • Sleeping too little or too much/extreme changes in sleeping patterns

  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves

  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

  • Extreme mood swings

  • Previous suicide attempts

  • Poor performance at work and/or school

  • Sudden and extreme changes in eating habits /losing or gaining weight

  • Comorbid mental health disorders

  • A sudden increase in positive mood (after other indicators of suicidal thoughts or long-term depression)

What to do when someone is at risk (from AFSP)

Have an honest conversation

  1. Talk to them in private

  2. Listen to their story

  3. Tell them you care about them

  4. Ask directly if they are thinking about suicide and if they have a plan

  5. Encourage them to seek treatment or contact their doctor or therapist

  6. Avoid debating the value of life, minimizing their problems or giving advice

If a person says they are considering suicide

  • Take the person seriously

  • Stay with them

  • Help them remove lethal means

  • Call 988

  • Text TALK to 741741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7

  • Escort them to mental health services or an emergency room

Learn 3 simple steps to save a life with a QPR training

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Each year thousands of Americans, like you, are saying “Yes” to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, or neighbor.

To request a training, complete the contact form here: 

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