Suicide

Suicide

What is Suicide?

Written by The Nan Project

According to the CDC, suicide is death caused by injuring oneself with the intent to die. A suicide attempt is when someone harms themselves with the intent to end their life, but they do not die as a result of their actions. Suicidal ideation refers to thinking about, considering, or planning suicide.

Why do people attempt suicide?

Usually, a combination of factors can contribute to someone thinking about commiting suicide. The topic of mental health is so stigmatized that many people feel like they will be looked down upon for struggling mentally. It causes those who are affected to suffer in silence, afraid of asking for support. Fifty percent of people reported that they are afraid of the stigma surrounding mental health challenges. Risk factors increase the possibility of suicide, but they might not necessarily be the direct causes.

Suicide Risk Factors

The following characteristics or conditions are important to be aware of as they are indicators that you or someone you know could be at a greater risk of attempting to take their life.

Warning Signs of Suicidal Intent

The following may be signs of suicidal intent and should be taken seriously. If you or someone you know:

  • Talks about or feels like wanting to die / wanting to kill themselves
  • Is looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means
  • Talks about or feels hopeless / having no reason to live
  • Talks about or feels trapped / is in unbearable pain
  • Talks about or feels like a burden to others
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acts anxious or agitated; behaves recklessly
  • Has started sleeping too little or too much
  • Is withdrawing, isolating themselves from friends and family, or showing decreased interest in activities
  • Is showing or feeling rage / talking about seeking revenge
  • Displays extreme mood swings (e.g. aggression, rage, irritability, anxiety, sadness, or depression)
There is help and there is hope!
What do I do if I am experiencing thoughts of suicide?

Know that you are not alone. There are people and organizations who are ready and willing to help! Immediately, tell a trusted adult about what and how you are feeling.

How to care for yourself if you are feeling hopeless?
  • Share your feelings with a trusted adult and ask for their help.
  • Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself like you would treat others you care about if they were experiencing the same feelings as you and know that help is always available.
  • Find your support network or a safe space where you can be supported. You can find these networks and safe spaces through online organizations or local crisis centers located right within your community.
  • Identify and seek out the things that make you happy and start to do them.
  • Make a safety plan. Fill out and share this safety plan from www.SuicidePreventionLifeline.org with a trusted adult.
  • Seek out and be open to the many options for care that are available to you. Say yes to therapy!
  • Start building awareness by noticing the negative thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. Once you are able to start catching yourself in that negativity, replace those thoughts with positive thoughts or actions that will help you create positive emotions.
  • Practice self-care strategies and take time to enjoy things that bring you calmness and comfort.
Resources

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255)
Webchat on www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat

Crisis Text Line: Reach out by texting ANY word to 741741
https://www.crisistextline.org/

National Alliance on Mental Health: Call or Chat 1 (800) 950-6264
https://www.nami.org/help

For the Samaritans: Call or Text (877)870-4673
https://samaritanshope.org

SAMHSA: Suicide Safe Mobile App
https://www.samhsa.gov/

Apps

Suicide Safety Plan: Download for Apple and Android
A list of coping strategies and social supports to use when in a suicidal crisis or very distressed.

Mental Health Crisis Plan from SAMHSA: Download for Apple and Android
In just a few minutes, you can put a plan in place to guide your care in case of a mental health crisis.

MY3 Support Network: Download for Apple and Android
With the MY3 App you can be prepared to help yourself and reach out to your support network when you are feeling suicidal.

Calm Harm: Download for Apple and Android
This app helps young people manage the urge to self-harm.

Not OK: Download for Apple and Android
A free digital panic button to get you immediate support via text, phone call, or GPS location when you’re struggling to reach out.

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