Psychology Can Help

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What to do if you suspect someone is suicidal

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT SOMEONE IS SUICIDAL:

 

1. Talk to them alone in a private setting.

 

2. Ask them if they are thinking of killing themselves or are suicidal.

 

3. Ask them if they have a plan:

  1. If the answer is YES, call your local County Crisis Team, call 911, or take them to the Emergency Room RIGHT AWAY and DON’T leave them alone.
  2. If the answer is NO, make an appointment for them to see a mental health professional, i.e., therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or doctor as soon as possible, and ask them how you can help them. Try to get them help as soon as possible. Ask them to make an agreement with you that they will not hurt themselves before they get help, or that they will contact you if they feel they are in crisis, or feeling worse.  Remove any lethal means (firearm, medications, etc.) that they have readily available. 

 

  ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR HOW TO RESPOND TO YOUTH www.youthsuicidewarningsigns.org

 

If you notice any of these warning signs in anyone, you can help!

1. Ask if they are ok or if they are having thoughts of suicide

2. Express your concern about what you are observing in their behavior

3. Listen attentively and non-judgementally

4. Reflect on what they share and let them know they have been heard

5. Tell them they are not alone

6. Let them know there are treatments available that can help

7. Guide them to professional help

 

 

WHO TO CONTACT IF YOU SUSPECT SOMEONE IS SUICIDAL:

  1. Mental health specialists, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, or mental health counselors
  2. Family doctors
  3. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
  4. Community mental health centers
  5. Hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics
  6. University or medical school programs
  7. State hospital outpatient clinics
  8. Family services, social agencies, or clergy
  9. Private clinics and facilities
  10. Local medical and/or psychiatric societies
  11. Health maintenance organizations