How to Talk About Suicide and Get Help
Suicidal thoughts are common. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, here’s how to get help.
I'm Thinking About Suicide Right Now
It’s okay to need help, and you can get it right now. No matter what time it is, there’s someone waiting to talk to you. These resources are confidential. Your outreach remains between you and the other person connecting with you.
- Text IN to 741741 to text with a crisis counselor
- Call 800-273-8255 for Community’s 24-hour crisis line
I've Thought About Suicide Before, or Think About it Regularly
Mental health is ongoing. If you need help right now, text or call one of the numbers above. For long-term support with a mental health specialist, Community Health Network has many options that fit your needs.
Sign up for Community Virtual Care. We’ll connect you with a therapist or psychiatrist to be your partner in mental health. You can choose a time that’s convenient for you over video chat. This option is best for short-term discussions, but you can always be referred to Community’s Behavioral Health team.
I'm Worried About Someone I Know
If you think that someone you know might be thinking about suicide, don’t wait. Ask.
This is a conversation you’ll want to have alone and in private. Give yourself plenty of time so that you can give them your full attention. They might be reluctant to talk, but you have to be persistent. Tell them that don’t feel uncomfortable or afraid to have this conversation, and that you want them to live. Let them talk freely without interrupting.
Make sure you have resources available to help them immediately. You can call Community’s 24-hour crisis line at 800-273-8255, or have them text IN to 741741. Here is a list of Community behavioral health clinic locations you can call to connect with a counselor.
How to Talk About Suicide
Asking someone directly about suicidal intent does a lot of good. It’s been proven to lower anxiety for the person who is considering suicide, and actually lowers the risk of intent.
A helpful process for talking about suicide is called QPR. QPR stands for “Question, Persuade, Refer.” It gives you a framework to start the conversation, persuade the person to accept help, and finally refer them to a resource where they can get that help. You can learn more about QPR right here.
How you ask is less important than asking at all. Even if you don’t feel fully prepared to have the conversation, just asking can help a lot.
Normalize Talking about Mental Health
Suicide and mental health in general can be tricky to talk about. For too long, society has associated mental health struggles with feelings of weakness or failure. It’s time to change that, especially as we all face the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether it’s infrequent or regular, we all know what it’s like to feel stress, anxiety or depression. You and everyone you know is probably feeling a good amount of those feelings right now because of the pandemic. The most helpful thing we can all do, during quarantine and beyond, is to simply talk to other people about it.
The next time you have a conversation with a friend or family member, don’t just talk about what you’ve been up to. Talk about what you’ve been feeling. A good place to start is how you’ve been coping during the pandemic. You might feel afraid, sad, angry or any number of things. Sharing your feelings can open the door to your loved one sharing theirs, too.
Solutions or answers don’t have to be the goal of the conversation. The goal is to create a safe space to talk about the human experiences we all go through. Even if you don’t have a way to change the problem someone is facing, saying “I see what you’re going through, and I’m here to listen” makes a difference.
Nobody has to face suicidal thoughts or other mental health struggles alone. Together we can change the conversation around mental health. Sign up for Virtual Care or get connected with Community’s Behavioral Health Services today.