What you need to know about suicide prevention
Suicide is a large and growing public health problem
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It was responsible for more than 47,000 deaths in 2017, resulting in about one death every 11 minutes. Every year, many more people think about or attempt suicide than die by suicide. In 2017, 10.6 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million made a plan, and 1.4 million attempted suicide.
Suicide warning signs
- 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
What to do if you believe someone may be thinking about suicide
- Call 911, if danger for self-harm seems imminent.
- 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 — that's one of many myths.
- 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.