how to help someone suicidal
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Everything You Want To Know About Helping Someone With Suicidal Ideation

Educate yourself.

Everything You Want To Know About Helping Someone With Suicidal Ideation

Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide, suicidal ideation, familial abuse. (#6 at the bottom has suicide prevention resources.)

1. What are the risk factors for suicide?

The most important thing to remember about suicide is there's rarely one cause. It's often the consequence of multiple adverse events occurring in close proximity to each other. Keeping that in mind, these are the most common risk factors for suicide according to the CDC.

"Family history of suicide. Familial abuse. Cultural and religious beliefs (e.g., belief that suicide is the solution for a personal dilemma).

Previous suicide attempt(s). Mental illness(es). Alcohol and substance abuse.

Feelings of hopelessness. Impulsive or aggressive tendencies.

Local epidemics of suicide. Social isolation. Loss (relational, social, work, or financial).

Barriers to accessing mental health care (financial or social). Physical illness. Easy access to lethal means."

2. What are the warning signs of suicide?

According to Valley Behavioral, these are the risk factors for suicide.

"Giving away prized possessions. Talking about death, dying. Using phrases such as "'when I'm gone…'" or "'I'm going to kill myself.'"

Getting affairs in order. Saying goodbye to loved ones. Obtaining items needed for suicide attempt.

Decreased social contact. Increasing drug and alcohol usage. Withdrawing from once-pleasurable activities.

Increased risky behaviors."

I'd also like to mention that sudden changes in mood (good or bad) can be a warning sign. It's especially important to remember the "good" part because a common belief is that suicidal people are all doom and gloom.

While this can be true, there are also plenty of instances where people look perfectly happy before their attempt. I learned in QPR gatekeeper training this may be because they've put together their plan for suicide and feel relieved as a result. More on that in the next point!

3. What is QPR Gatekeeper Training?

Glad you asked! "Question, Persuade, and Refer" (QPR) Gatekeeper Training is a 1-2 hour educational program that teaches "gatekeepers" the warning signs of suicide and how to respond. Most college campuses offer these trainings and your license is good for 3-4 years.

I am QPR trained and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about how they can prevent suicide in their community.

4. What's the difference between passive and active suicidal ideation?

Passive suicidal ideation involves a desire to die, but no specific plan for doing so. Some people can remain in this state for years on end, but it should still taken be seriously. Not only because it can turn into active suicidal ideation but because it hurts. A lot.

I can only describe being passively suicidal as trying to drive a car with no gasoline in its tank. But that's a story for another post!

Active suicidal ideation involves a desire to die, and a specific plan on how to do so. This is when that QPR training comes in handy, hint hint.

Source: Valley Behavioral

5. What can I do?

Volunteer for a suicide hotline such as Lifeline.

Volunteer as a field advocate for suicide prevention.

Walk to prevent suicide with the ASFP.

Get QPR trained.

Check up on your friends and loved ones.

Unapologetically blog about mental health.

6. What are some suicide prevention resources?

National Suicide Hotline (800-273-8255)

Crisis Text Line: Text 741741

Lifeline Crisis Chat (1:1 Online Chat, 12pm-12am EST)

IMAlive Crisis Chat

Red para la Prevención del Suicidio USA (24/7 Spanish Speaking Hotline)

Asian American Suicide Prevention and Education (Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and Fujianese)

Boys Town Suicide and Crisis Line (for teens/parents/families)

Vet2Vet Veterans Crisis Hotline
1-877-VET-2-VET (838-2838)

Postpartum Depression Hotline USA
800-PPD-MOMS (773-6667)

Kids Helpline USA

Teen to Teen Peer Counseling Hotline USA
877-YOUTHLINE (968-8454)

The Trevor Project USA: LGBTQ Youth 24/7
866-4-U-TREVOR (488-7386)

You can find even more hotlines here!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments