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Suicide Intervention & Prevention:

If someone you know has said they are going to kill themselves, take them seriously. If they have said it a hundred times, take them seriously. There have been many instances where a person said they were going to kill themselves and were not taken seriously because they had said it so many times before. If you have heard it again and again depression is a possibility and depression is treatable, but untreated depression can lead to suicide.

Talk to the person. Find out if they have the means, or have already injured themselves. It is a good idea if you have a suicidal family member to remove the means, (i.e. if you have guns in the house, you might not want them just now, are medications locked away, look around your house and try to remove the means, don't make it easy).

How do they plan to do it. Do they have the means? Have they planned it out? How serious and immediate are the plans? Do they have future plans, for tomorrow, or are there no future plans? Many times a person who has been very depressed and suicidal will seem happy and content after they have made the decision to do it? Are they putting their affairs in order now?

Are they intoxicated, or have they been using drugs. Drugs and alcohol are present at many suicides. Those who abuse alcohol and drugs are at high risk. If the person has already injured themselves or the danger is immediate you may have to call for help. 911 intervention may be necessary. If a person has attempted to kill themselves you may save their life, but they will need counseling to resolve the issues that led to the attempt. Most people do not decide on the spur of the moment to kill themselves, it is "usually" a long and deliberate decision, a last resort.

If you have had suicidal thoughts, take steps to take care of yourself. You need to reach outside yourself for help. Is there a close friend you can talk to, a family member, minister or neighbor. Is there a crisis line you can call. Many areas have 24 hour trained counselors who can talk you through your feelings, and the service is free.

Many county mental health centers have counselors on call. Grohol's Webpage has a listing of on line services where you can connect with volunteers via e-mail. You might also want to check out the Web Dex on Support Services for connecting with others and work toward resolving some of those issues that lead up to the suicide attempt. Make a list of your support resources and once you have made your list, use it. What will you do to take care of yourself? Is it time to check into a hospital?

If you or someone you love is suicidal, it is time to reach out. Professional help is often covered by insurance. Many counseling centers will work on a sliding fee, and services may be free from your mental health center if there is financial need. Trained volunteer counselors may be free through local crisis lines, and are there because they care. If there is no local crisis line, the one nearest you may accept collect calls. Call directory assistance for the number. Use their services, find out from them what other services are available in your area, then use the services. Most of all connect.

Hope for Life - By Mikeal L. Best
Little things make life meaningful - By Michael Holmboe Meyer
Suicide Intervention and Prevention - On-line resources.

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The information on this page is not meant to replace professional care. Suicidal thoughts, intentions, attempts and threats are a life threatening emergency that should be dealt with the same urgency as a heart attack or any other medical emergency. If the threat is there, help is needed.