HELP FROM OTHERS
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889. All calls are confidential. Contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency. Learn more on the Lifeline’s website or the Crisis Text Line’s website.
The Veterans Crisis Line connects Service members and Veterans in crisis, as well as their family members and friends, with qualified, caring Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text messaging service. Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone or send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder. You can also start a confidential online chat session at veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/chat.
What can I do for myself or someone else?
Immediate action is very important. Here are a few resources:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), confidential help 24-hours-a-day. You also can visit the Lifeline’s website at suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1
- Crisis Text Line: text START to 741-741
- HealthReach, information available in multiple languages: healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/searchindex/Suicide
- Help for Mental Illnesses: National Institute of Mental Health web page nimh.nih.gov/findhelp
- Treatment Referral Routing Service: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Safety Planning: Personalized safety planninghas been shown to help reduce suicidal thoughts and actions. Patients work with a caregiver to develop a plan that describes ways to limit access to lethal means such as firearms, pills, or poisons. The plan also lists coping strategies and people and resources that can help in a crisis.
- Follow-up phone calls:Research has shown that when at-risk patients receive further screening, a Safety Plan intervention, and a series of supportive phone calls, their risk of suicide goes down.
Multiple types of psychosocial interventions have been found to help individuals who have attempted suicide (see below). These types of interventions may prevent someone from making another attempt.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)can help people learn new ways of dealing with stressful experiences through training. CBT helps individuals recognize their thought patterns and consider alternative actions when thoughts of suicide arise.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)has been shown to reduce suicidal behavior in adolescents. DBT has also been shown to reduce the rate of suicide in adults with borderline personality disorder, a mental illness characterized by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image, and behavior that often results in impulsive actions and problems in relationships. A therapist trained in DBT helps a person recognize when his or her feelings or actions are disruptive or unhealthy, and teaches the skills needed to deal better with upsetting situations.
NIMH’s Find Help for Mental Illnesses page can help you locate a mental health provider in your area. Here are tips to help prepare and guide you on how to talk to your health care provider about your mental health and get the most of your doctor’s visit.
Some individuals at risk for suicide might benefit from medication. Doctors and patients can work together to find the best medication or medication combination, as well as the right dose. Because many individuals at risk for suicide often have a mental illness and substance use problems, individuals might benefit from medication along with psychosocial intervention.
Clozapine is an antipsychotic medication used primarily to treat individuals with schizophrenia. To date, it is the only medication with a specific U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indication for reducing the risk of recurrent suicidal behavior in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
If you are prescribed a medication, be sure you:
- Talk with your doctor or a pharmacist to make sure you understand the risks and benefits of the medications you’re taking.
- Do not stop taking a medication without talking to your doctor first. Suddenly stopping a medication may lead to “rebound” or worsening of symptoms. Other uncomfortable or potentially dangerous withdrawal effects also are possible.
- Report any concerns about side effects to your doctor right away. You may need a change in the dose or a different medication.
- Report serious side effects to the FDA MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programonline or by phone at 1-800-332-1088. You or your doctor may send a report.
Other medications have been used to treat suicidal thoughts and behaviors, but more research is needed to show the benefit of these options. For basic information about these medications, you can visit the NIMH Mental Health Medications webpage. For the most up-to-date information on medications, side effects, and warnings, visit the FDA website.
Collaborative Care has been shown to be an effective way to treat depression and reduce suicidal thoughts. A team-based Collaborative Care program adds two new types of services to usual primary care: behavioral health care management and consultations with a mental health specialist.
The behavioral health care manager becomes part of the patient’s treatment team and helps the primary care provider evaluate the patient’s mental health. If the patient receives a diagnosis of a mental health disorder and wants treatment, the care manager, primary care provider, and patient work together to develop a treatment plan. This plan may include medication, psychotherapy, or other appropriate options.
Later, the care manager reaches out to see if the patient likes the plan, is following the plan, and if the plan is working or if changes are needed to improve management of the patient’s disorders. The care manager and the primary care provider also regularly review the patient’s status and care plan with a mental health specialist, like a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse, to be sure the patient is getting the best treatment options and improving
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. www.thetrevorproject.org. 1-866-488-7386.
The GLBT National Help Center provides peer-support and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity. They operate three national hotlines: the GLBT National Hotline, the GLBT National Youth Talkline, and the SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline. They also offer online peer support chat and an extensive database of LGBTQ resources. www.glbthotline.org. 1-800-246-7743.
The Trans Lifeline is dedicated to the well being of transgender people. They run a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Trans Lifeline volunteers are ready to respond to whatever support needs members of the trans community might have. www.translifeline.org. 1-877-565-8860.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. 1-800-273-8255.
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center provides information on mental health facilities and prevention efforts in your state. www.sprc.org.
The Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. www.crisistext.org.
Coming Out Resources
The Trevor Project: http://www.thetrevorproject.org
The Human Rights Campaign: www.hrc.org/explore/topic/coming-out
Resources to Share with Your Family and Friends
Family Acceptance Project: http://familyproject.sfsu.edu
Mental Health Resources
Pride Institute: http://pride-institute.com
Medical and Sexual Health Resources
Substance Abuse and Addiction Resources
Pride Institute: http://pride-institute.com
Anti-Violence Resources (violence/harassment/domestic abuse)
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs: http://ncavp.org/about/default.aspx
Lambda Legal: http://www.lambdalegal.org
The Ali Forney Center: www.aliforneycenter.org
The GSA Network: http://gsanetwork.org
Human Rights Campaign: http://www.hrc.org/explore/topic/workplace
Welcoming Religious Communities
Human Rights Campaign: http://www.hrc.org/resources/faith-resources
Local LGBTQ Social and Recreational Resources
GLBT Near Me National Resource Database: http://www.glbtnearme.org
Trevor Space: https://www.trevorspace.org
Stories From Other Survivors
It Gets Better Project: http://www.itgetsbetter.org/video
Live Through This: http://livethroughthis.org
Where can I go for more information on suicide prevention?
- Visit the NIMH website: www.nimh.nih.gov and search “suicide”
Visit the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus,
En Español: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish
- Find information on clinical trials at the National Library of Medicine Clinical Trials database: www.ClinicalTrials.gov/
- Information from NIMH is available in multiple formats. You can browse and order items online, download documents in PDF, and order paper brochures through the mail.