What is it?
You probably know that suicide is when someone decides to end their own life because death seems like a better option than living. You probably also know that young adults are most likely to make a suicide attempt than anyone else. But you may not know why you feel this way or how to make those suicidal thoughts go away.
Learning the risk factors that make someone more likely to attempt suicide can go a long way towards understanding why people feel that their lives aren’t worth living. Mental health issues, the loss of a loved one from death or a break-up, and substance abuse are all major risk factors. Dealing with these issues can help minimize thoughts of suicide. There are also protective factors like mental health care and a strong support system that can help strengthen resilience, which weakens the power of those risk factors.
When you or someone you care about is suicidal, it’s incredibly important to get help immediately. Supporting someone who is thinking about suicide can be very stressful, it’s OK to get help for yourself too.
What are the warning signs?
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- 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
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
How can I get help?
Anytime you are in crisis you can call or chat with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
If you are a veteran or the family member of a veteran, call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 to speak with a trained crisis counselor. You may also chat online or text 838255.
The Lifeline created this website for people who have struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past as well as those who have survived a suicide attempt.