Individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts often feel hopeless and are going through immense emotional pain. Acknowledging and discussing these thoughts is very important. Having suicidal thoughts does not always indicate an immediate risk of suicide, but could become dangerous if ignored. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, know that you are not alone and there is help.
If you or someone you know has stated intentions or plans to commit suicide verbally, in writing, or electronically it is important to get help immediately. If someone's life is in present danger, call 911.
If you suspect someone may be having suicidal thoughts, you could help them by expressing your concerns and listening to them without judgment. Make sure that you connect this person with the appropriate resources and that you are taking care of yourself as well.
Signs of Suicidal Thoughts
The following are potential signs, not direct indications, that someone may experience suicidal thoughts. The only way of knowing if someone is contemplating suicide is to ask them directly.
Sadness, hopelessness, anger, or other strong emotional pain
Prolonged or chronic physical pain
Feeling trapped in a situation or internal state
Sudden changes in mood or behavior
Reckless behavior, including increases in drug/alcohol use
Withdrawing from social support or important activities
Coping Tips for Suicidal Thoughts
Don't keep it to yourself! Expressing these thoughts to someone can be incredibly relieving. Call a hotline, come to Counseling Services, or talk to a loved one.
Make your environment safe by removing things you may use to harm yourself. Have a friend keep those items until you feel safe enough to have them again.
Make a list of positive things in your life or upcoming events you are excited about.
Write a safety plan with 10 coping steps to take, the last of which is calling 911.
Avoid being alone, using alcohol or drugs, and sad music or movies.
Hotlines and Online Resources