Thinking about Suicide
Thinking about suicide does not make you weak or bad. There are people you can turn to for help.
What does it mean to be suicidal?
Feeling suicidal? You are not alone … On average, one person dies by suicide every seven hours in the state. In 2017 in Georgia 1,317 people died by suicide. Nearly twice as many people die by suicide in Georgia annually than by homicide. Help is available.
Reasons for suicide
The reasons why people think about suicide are personal and varied. Often, it is because of a combination of factors related to their thoughts or feelings, or they may have recently loss (a loved one, job, relationship, pet or public figure).
Where to get support?
It can be very difficult to know what to do and how to cope, but help is available.
- Talk to someone you trust you don’t have to go through this alone.
- Use available resources — smartphone apps, online support groups.
- Get help and support to stay alive — contact a helpline, your doctor, a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist, a hospital emergency department, minister or teacher.
- If your life is in danger — call emergency services 911.
What can you do to help others?
If you suspect that someone is thinking about suicide:
- Reach Out
Ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide. It needs to be a direct question that can’t be misinterpreted. They want to live but desperately need someone to hear their pain and offer them help to keep safe. Most people with thoughts of suicide want to talk about it. Don’t be afraid to ask them if they are thinking about suicide it shows you care and they’re not alone.
- Listen to them
Allow them to express their feelings, let them do most of the talking. They will often feel a great sense of relief that someone wants to talk to them about their darkest thoughts.
- Check their safety
If you are worried don’t leave them alone. Remove any means of suicide including medications, alcohol, drugs, weapons, even access to a car. You can also take them to the local hospital emergency department.
- Decide what to do and take action
Talk about steps you can take together to keep them safe. You shouldn’t be the only one supporting this person, don’t agree to keep it a secret. You may need help from someone else to persuade them to get help. You can also help by finding out information on what services or resources are available for a person who is considering suicide.
In some situations, a person might refuse help. In these cases, ensure the appropriate people are aware of the situation. If they are unable to stay safe you may have to contact help against their wishes, but talk to them about this first if possible.
Almost everyone who takes their own life gives the warning or some clue. Never ignore talking about suicide. Take people’s suicidal feelings and thoughts very seriously and help them find effective help.
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