You are not alone. Call the HELPline, a free crisis and suicide intervention hotline and referral service, at (951) 686-HELP(4357). The phone lines are answered by trained professionals available 24/7; the call is free and confidential. If emergency medical or psychiatric care is needed, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.
You can help prevent suicide.
People who are suicidal often say or do things that are signals of their intentions. These warning signs provide an opportunity to start a conversation, even if it is difficult. You may be unsure of how you can help or uncertain of whether the person is actually in serious trouble, but asking about their feelings or intentions is an important first step. Talking specifically about suicide does not cause it to happen or plant the idea. Communicating your concern and offering to find help together could save a life. If you are concerned about someone, don’t hesitate to take action right away!
Here’s how you can help:
- Learn the warning signs for suicide.
People thinking of ending their life often give hints about their intentions. Become familiar with the warning signs and don’t hesitate to take action if you notice unusual behaviors. Trust your instincts. To learn more about the signs of suicide, how to find the words to have a conversation with someone you care about, and additional support resources, click here.
- Reach out and stay involved.
Withdrawing from friends and family, not returning phone calls and not participating in activities the person previously enjoyed can all be warning signs of feeling troubled. Continue to reach out, be persistent and don’t give up. Your efforts let people know you care about them.
- Start the conversation.
Let the person you care about know you are concerned about them. You could say:
“I am worried about you.”
“It seems like something is bothering you.”
“You don’t seem like yourself lately. How can I help?”
- Be direct and ask questions; even the ones you may be afraid to ask, such as:
“Are you depressed?”
“Are you feeling that there is no way out?”
“Are you thinking about ending your life?”
- If you think the person is suicidal:
Stay with them, listen to them and take them seriously. Help them get help. Tell them to call the HELPline, a free crisis and suicide intervention hotline and referral service, at (951) 686-HELP(4357) to talk to someone about how they are feeling. If you don’t think they are able to do this on their own, then offer to call with them.
- You are not alone.
Consider yourself the link to getting the person you care about the help they need. Reach out to friends, family members or a clergy person, rabbi or other faith leader. If you are concerned about the safety of a young person, encourage them to talk to an adult they trust and let them know that they are not alone.