Suicide Prevention

SAMHSA is a proud partner of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention(link is external), a public-private partnership with more than 200 participating organizations advancing the national strategy for suicide prevention. SAMHSA funds the Suicide Prevention Resource Center to act as Executive Secretariat to the Action Alliance. Learn about the Action Alliance’s Your Life Matters! campaign, which gives faith communities of every tradition, philosophy, sect, or denomination an opportunity to dedicate one Sabbath each year, preferably corresponding to World Suicide Prevention Day, to celebrate life, hope, and reasons to live.

SAMHSA is committed to continuing to working with its federal partners and private organizations to provide states, territories, tribal entities, communities, and the public with the assistance and prevention resources they need. SAMHSA offers:

Learn more about:

Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior

These signs may mean that someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if the behavior is new, or has increased, and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change:

  • Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

Download the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Wallet Card: Learn the Warning Signs – 2005 in English or en Español.

What You Can Do

If you believe someone may be thinking about suicide:

  • Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves. (This will not put the idea into their head or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.)
  • Listen without judging and show you care.
  • Stay with the person (or make sure the person is in a private, secure place with another caring person) until you can get further help.
  • Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
  • Call SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and follow their guidance.
  • If danger for self-harm seems imminent, call 911.

Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. For instance, faith communities can work to prevent suicide simply by fostering cultures and norms that are life-preserving, providing perspective and social support to community members, and helping people navigate the struggles of life to find a sustainable sense of hope, meaning, and purpose. For information about how you can help, visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s customized information sheets for parents, teachers, co-workers, and others(link is external).

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