Get Suicide Help: Prevention & Treatment

Getting suicide help isn’t a futile effort—it can truly save a life. 

Suicide claims the lives of 123 Americans every single day. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the country, and the second leading cause of death for 15-29 year-olds worldwide. For many who commit suicide, the biggest risk factor is a previous suicide attempt. 

There is a strong link between suicide and other mental health disorders. Depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental illnesses can all lead a person to feel hopeless and unable to cope with life, as can physical trauma such as chronic pain. Suicide is also linked with discrimination against a person’s sexuality, gender, or race.

Suicide prevention and treatment starts with recognizing the problem. Early identification of suicidal thoughts or tendencies allows people to get the care that they need. Of course, thoughts of suicide—and the root causes of those thoughts—are incredibly complex. Treatment should always be individualized to a person’s unique needs and situation. 

At Synergy Health Programs, we work with patients to create a comprehensive therapeutic program that addresses not just their suicidal thoughts but the reasons those thoughts exist in the first place. 

Signs Someone is Suicidal

It’s important to be able to recognize the signs that someone is suffering from suicidal ideations. These include:

  • Excessive sadness, moodiness, and/or mood swings
  • Isolation from family, friends, and activities
  • Talks or threats of suicide or self harm
  • Engaging in self harm
  • Engaging in impulsive and/or reckless behaviors
  • Rapid changes in behavior and/or appearance
  • Giving away of personal possessions

Not all individuals who are considering suicide will present with outward signs, or the signs may be subtle. As such, it is helpful to know who is most at risk of suicide so that one can be aware of less obvious symptoms.

Suicide is most common in:

  • Teens, young adults, and the elderly
  • Those who have previously attempted suicide
  • Those who have experienced the suicide of a friend, coworker, or loved one
  • Those who have a history of violent or unpredictable behavior 
  • Those who suffer from chronic pain or other debilitating or terminal physical disorders
  • Individuals with substance abuse disorders
  • Individuals with mental health disorders, particularly major depressive disorder
  • Survivors of sexual, physical, or emotional trauma

People who work in fields where they are exposed to violence or trauma are also at risk, such as healthcare providers and those in law enforcement.

How to Help a Suicidal Person

If you suspect that someone you know is at risk of suicide, it is important to take action. An intervention can make the difference between someone getting the help that they need and someone taking their life.

Warning Signs of Suicide

In addition to looking for warning signs, use scripted questions to assess whether someone is in danger of serious self harm. These questions include:

  • Are you considering hurting yourself?
  • Are you thinking about dying?
  • Are you thinking about giving up?
  • Have you ever had suicidal thoughts?

How You Can Help

Note that not everyone will be forthcoming in their responses. If you notice warning signs of suicide, even if an individual is saying that they are fine, reach out for help. Tell a friend or family member about your concerns, and try not to leave the person alone. If you must leave, have someone else stay with them, and check in regularly. 

If you think someone is in immediate danger of suicide, call 911 or take the person to the emergency room.

Suicide Resources

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (veterans press 1; deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals call 1-800-799-4889)

The Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741-741

The Trevor Project: Crisis intervention and suicide hotline for LGBTQ individuals; 1-866-488-7386

If you are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help. We are available 24/7 and offer both inpatient and residential treatment. If you fear you are in immediate danger of self harm, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency department.

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