Suicide Prevention

Suicide is preventable. Recognize the signs.

Suicide is a tragic act of purposefully causing one’s own death.

There are many reasons people decide to take their own lives.

A 2014 Psychology Today blog (“Curious”) reported that there are five primary reasons:

  1. a sense of burden – “My loved ones would be better off without me.”
  2. emotional pain – “Every area of my life is painful (and there is no hope it will change).” 
  3. escaping negative feelings – “Death is the only way to end this pain.”
  4. an altered social world – “If I weren’t here my relationship problems would be over (and my loved ones would be better off).”
  5. hopelessness – “There is no reason to think anything will ever get  better.”

Suicide is not about lacking courage or taking the “easy” way out. It is rarely “selfish.” Of those five most common reasons, the two with the greatest impact were having a sense of being a burden to others and feeling hopeless.

Suicide is preventable. Get the facts:

Suicide Prevention Hotlines:

717.394.2631 (Lancaster, PA) OR 800-273-TALK (8255) (National Life Line)

Additional Resources / Helplines

The following information is from Mental Health America:

Warning Signs of Someone Considering Suicide

Any one of these signs does not necessarily mean the person is considering suicide, but several of these symptoms might signal a need for help:

  • verbal suicide threats such as, “You’d be better off without me” or “Maybe I won’t be around.”
  • expressions of hopelessness and helplessness
  • previous suicide attempts
  • daring or risk-taking behavior
  • personality changes
  • depression
  • giving away prized possessions
  • lack of interest in future plans

Remember: Eight out of 10 people considering suicide give some sign of their intentions. People who talk about suicide, threaten suicide, or call suicide crisis centers are 30 times more likely to kill themselves.

If You Think Someone Is Considering Suicide

  • Trust your instincts that the person might be in trouble.
  • Talk with the person about your concerns; communication needs to include LISTENING.
  • Ask direct questions without being judgmental. Determine if the person has a specific plan to carry out the suicide; The more detailed the plan, the greater the risk.
  • Get professional help, even if the person resists.
  • Do not leave the person alone.
  • Do not swear to secrecy.
  • Do not act shocked or judgmental.
  • Do not counsel the person yourself.

© Copyright Mental Health America, June 2015