For Teens: What to Do If You or a Loved One Is Feeling Suicidal

Posted Sep 5, 2017

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Summary

Almost any mistakes can be fixed. But that opportunity is lost if suicide is the solution.

Are you having thoughts of suicide? How can you find the help you need?

What can you do if your good friend or classmate has thoughts of suicide? Are you a bad friend if you tell on her? Are you a good friend if you ignore it?

Having thoughts of suicide or hearing a loved one talk about it can be scary. You might wonder if you should try to get help. You might wonder if your loyalty is being tested. The answer is to take any thoughts or discussion of suicide seriously.

Virtually any mistake can be fixed, but that opportunity is lost if suicide is the solution.

Why would someone consider suicide?

If you or someone you love is deeply hurting, suicide might seem like the only choice. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the way out of a bad situation or event. It can be the result of:

  • A lasting depression, eating disorder, or anxiety disorder
  • The loss of a relationship or death of a loved one
  • Being bullied or teased on social media or at school
  • A tough home life or parents getting divorced
  • Drinking and drug misuse

At times, a person can be depressed or sad for no real reason. Being depressed does not necessarily mean you or your friend might attempt suicide.

What are the warning signs?

There are often several signs before a person tries to take her own life. Here are just a few:

  • Mentioning the desire and an actual plan
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities
  • Feeling like a burden to others
  • Changes in eating, sleeping, or amount of drinking/drug use
  • Giving away cherished belongings
  • Extreme mood changes

If you notice any of these, or if you have a hunch something is wrong, talk with somebody you trust. Don’t worry about betraying your own plan to end your life or that of your friend. The best thing you can do is get the help that is needed.

How can I help a friend (or myself)?

If you are considering taking your life, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK (8255). You will speak with a person who will understand where you are coming from. The call is private. If you are in danger of harming yourself or someone else, call 911 immediately. You might want to avoid drugs and alcohol. They almost always make a bad problem worse. Many people find it helpful to reach out to a trusted friend or adult and let them know you need help.

It can put you in a very awkward position if you are the closest friend or only person your loved one will talk with about thoughts of suicide. Listen to what he is saying and instead of giving advice, offer the following:

  • Call a suicide hotline together.
  • Go see a trusted adult—teacher, relative, coach, pastor, friend—together.
  • Be with him and let him know he is loved.

If you are not with your friend and the threat is made from a text message or on social media, call her. If the threat is made over the phone, ask where she is and if someone else is there. Keep her on the line until you can get help.

Many more people who consider suicide stay alive than those who do not. There is hope for getting past this dark phase in life.

Resources

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
https://afsp.org/find-support/

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-TALK (8255)

Sources of Strength, Youth suicide prevention program
https://sourcesofstrength.org/

Youth Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention: 2017 Resource Guide
www.childrenssafetynetwork.org/resources/youth-suicide-self-harm-prevention-2017-resource-guide

By Andrea Rizzo, MFA
Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5); "Feeling Suicidal," www.girlshealth.gov/feelings/suicidal/index.html#why; "Suicide Prevention," National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml#part_153176; "Increase in Suicide in the United States, 1999-2014," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db241.htm; "Preventing Suicide," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/Features/PreventingSuicide/index.html
Reviewed by Jenni Myers, LCSW, Director of Corporate Strategy; Dale Seamans, Executive Editor, Thought Leadership; Elizabeth Taylor, CRSS, Peer and Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Almost any mistakes can be fixed. But that opportunity is lost if suicide is the solution.

Are you having thoughts of suicide? How can you find the help you need?

What can you do if your good friend or classmate has thoughts of suicide? Are you a bad friend if you tell on her? Are you a good friend if you ignore it?

Having thoughts of suicide or hearing a loved one talk about it can be scary. You might wonder if you should try to get help. You might wonder if your loyalty is being tested. The answer is to take any thoughts or discussion of suicide seriously.

Virtually any mistake can be fixed, but that opportunity is lost if suicide is the solution.

Why would someone consider suicide?

If you or someone you love is deeply hurting, suicide might seem like the only choice. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the way out of a bad situation or event. It can be the result of:

  • A lasting depression, eating disorder, or anxiety disorder
  • The loss of a relationship or death of a loved one
  • Being bullied or teased on social media or at school
  • A tough home life or parents getting divorced
  • Drinking and drug misuse

At times, a person can be depressed or sad for no real reason. Being depressed does not necessarily mean you or your friend might attempt suicide.

What are the warning signs?

There are often several signs before a person tries to take her own life. Here are just a few:

  • Mentioning the desire and an actual plan
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities
  • Feeling like a burden to others
  • Changes in eating, sleeping, or amount of drinking/drug use
  • Giving away cherished belongings
  • Extreme mood changes

If you notice any of these, or if you have a hunch something is wrong, talk with somebody you trust. Don’t worry about betraying your own plan to end your life or that of your friend. The best thing you can do is get the help that is needed.

How can I help a friend (or myself)?

If you are considering taking your life, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK (8255). You will speak with a person who will understand where you are coming from. The call is private. If you are in danger of harming yourself or someone else, call 911 immediately. You might want to avoid drugs and alcohol. They almost always make a bad problem worse. Many people find it helpful to reach out to a trusted friend or adult and let them know you need help.

It can put you in a very awkward position if you are the closest friend or only person your loved one will talk with about thoughts of suicide. Listen to what he is saying and instead of giving advice, offer the following:

  • Call a suicide hotline together.
  • Go see a trusted adult—teacher, relative, coach, pastor, friend—together.
  • Be with him and let him know he is loved.

If you are not with your friend and the threat is made from a text message or on social media, call her. If the threat is made over the phone, ask where she is and if someone else is there. Keep her on the line until you can get help.

Many more people who consider suicide stay alive than those who do not. There is hope for getting past this dark phase in life.

Resources

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
https://afsp.org/find-support/

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-TALK (8255)

Sources of Strength, Youth suicide prevention program
https://sourcesofstrength.org/

Youth Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention: 2017 Resource Guide
www.childrenssafetynetwork.org/resources/youth-suicide-self-harm-prevention-2017-resource-guide

By Andrea Rizzo, MFA
Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5); "Feeling Suicidal," www.girlshealth.gov/feelings/suicidal/index.html#why; "Suicide Prevention," National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml#part_153176; "Increase in Suicide in the United States, 1999-2014," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db241.htm; "Preventing Suicide," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/Features/PreventingSuicide/index.html
Reviewed by Jenni Myers, LCSW, Director of Corporate Strategy; Dale Seamans, Executive Editor, Thought Leadership; Elizabeth Taylor, CRSS, Peer and Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Almost any mistakes can be fixed. But that opportunity is lost if suicide is the solution.

Are you having thoughts of suicide? How can you find the help you need?

What can you do if your good friend or classmate has thoughts of suicide? Are you a bad friend if you tell on her? Are you a good friend if you ignore it?

Having thoughts of suicide or hearing a loved one talk about it can be scary. You might wonder if you should try to get help. You might wonder if your loyalty is being tested. The answer is to take any thoughts or discussion of suicide seriously.

Virtually any mistake can be fixed, but that opportunity is lost if suicide is the solution.

Why would someone consider suicide?

If you or someone you love is deeply hurting, suicide might seem like the only choice. Sometimes, it’s hard to see the way out of a bad situation or event. It can be the result of:

  • A lasting depression, eating disorder, or anxiety disorder
  • The loss of a relationship or death of a loved one
  • Being bullied or teased on social media or at school
  • A tough home life or parents getting divorced
  • Drinking and drug misuse

At times, a person can be depressed or sad for no real reason. Being depressed does not necessarily mean you or your friend might attempt suicide.

What are the warning signs?

There are often several signs before a person tries to take her own life. Here are just a few:

  • Mentioning the desire and an actual plan
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities
  • Feeling like a burden to others
  • Changes in eating, sleeping, or amount of drinking/drug use
  • Giving away cherished belongings
  • Extreme mood changes

If you notice any of these, or if you have a hunch something is wrong, talk with somebody you trust. Don’t worry about betraying your own plan to end your life or that of your friend. The best thing you can do is get the help that is needed.

How can I help a friend (or myself)?

If you are considering taking your life, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-TALK (8255). You will speak with a person who will understand where you are coming from. The call is private. If you are in danger of harming yourself or someone else, call 911 immediately. You might want to avoid drugs and alcohol. They almost always make a bad problem worse. Many people find it helpful to reach out to a trusted friend or adult and let them know you need help.

It can put you in a very awkward position if you are the closest friend or only person your loved one will talk with about thoughts of suicide. Listen to what he is saying and instead of giving advice, offer the following:

  • Call a suicide hotline together.
  • Go see a trusted adult—teacher, relative, coach, pastor, friend—together.
  • Be with him and let him know he is loved.

If you are not with your friend and the threat is made from a text message or on social media, call her. If the threat is made over the phone, ask where she is and if someone else is there. Keep her on the line until you can get help.

Many more people who consider suicide stay alive than those who do not. There is hope for getting past this dark phase in life.

Resources

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
https://afsp.org/find-support/

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-TALK (8255)

Sources of Strength, Youth suicide prevention program
https://sourcesofstrength.org/

Youth Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention: 2017 Resource Guide
www.childrenssafetynetwork.org/resources/youth-suicide-self-harm-prevention-2017-resource-guide

By Andrea Rizzo, MFA
Source: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5); "Feeling Suicidal," www.girlshealth.gov/feelings/suicidal/index.html#why; "Suicide Prevention," National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml#part_153176; "Increase in Suicide in the United States, 1999-2014," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db241.htm; "Preventing Suicide," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/Features/PreventingSuicide/index.html
Reviewed by Jenni Myers, LCSW, Director of Corporate Strategy; Dale Seamans, Executive Editor, Thought Leadership; Elizabeth Taylor, CRSS, Peer and Family Support Specialist, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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