If you or someone you know is in immediate danger or needs medical attention, call 911.
For FREE help from a trained crisis counselor anywhere in the US:
CALL National Suicide 24 Hour Hotline at 1.800.273.8255
TEXT the word “HOME” to 741741
CHAT Online at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
CALL Colorado Crisis Services at 1.844.493.8255
TEXT the word “TALK” to 38255
CHAT Online at https://coloradocrisisservices.org/chat/ from 4pm to 12am daily
The Trevor Project: The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning young people under 25.
TEXT “START” to 678678.
Where do I go from here?
- Step #1: Promise not to do anything right now
Even though you’re in a lot of pain right now, give yourself some distance between thoughts and action. Make a promise to yourself: “I will wait 24 hours and won’t do anything drastic during that time.” Thoughts and actions are two different things—your suicidal thoughts DO NOT have to become a reality. Wait and put some distance between your suicidal thoughts and suicidal action.
- Step #2: Avoid drugs and alcohol
Suicidal thoughts can become even stronger if you have taken drugs or alcohol. It is important to not use nonprescription drugs or alcohol when you feel hopeless or are thinking about suicide.
- Step #3: Make your home safe
Remove things you could use to hurt yourself, such as pills, knives, razors, or firearms. If you are unable to do so, go to a place where you can feel safe. If you are thinking of taking an overdose, give your medicines to someone who can return them to you one day at a time as you need them.
- Step #4: Don’t keep these suicidal feelings to yourself
Many of us have found that the first step to coping with suicidal thoughts and feelings is to share them with someone we trust. It may be a family member, friend, therapist, member of the clergy, teacher, family doctor, coach, or an experienced counselor at the end of a helpline. Find someone you trust and let them know how bad things are. Just talking about how you got to this point in your life can release a lot of the pressure that’s building up and help you find a way to cope.
- Step #5: Have hope – people DO get through this
Even people who feel as badly as you are feeling now manage to survive these feelings. Take hope in this. There is a very good chance that you are going to live through these feelings, no matter how much self-loathing, hopelessness, or isolation you are currently experiencing. Just give yourself the time needed and don’t try to go it alone.
General information on different types of therapy can be found here.
Use the Therapist Finder from Psychology Today to search for a therapist by location, insurance, issue, age, and more.
Second Wind Fund matches children and youth at risk for suicide with licensed therapists in their communities. If a financial or social barrier to treatment is present, they pay for up to 12 sessions of therapy from one of their providers.
Or, help yourself with an online cognitive behavioral therapy course like MoodGYM ($39/year), proven in scientific trial to help prevent and manage symptoms of depression and anxiety.
From the National Association of School Psychologists: Suicide rarely happens without warning. As a peer, you may be in the best position to recognize when a friend needs help. You could see signs in person, hear about them secondhand, or see them online in social media. Never ignore these signs. Suicide is preventable. By listening, talking, and acting, you could save a life.
For a list of warning signs and actions to take, visit this page from Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.
You Matter: a safe space for youth to discuss and share stories about mental health and wellness and blog posts written by individuals between 13-24 that are passionate about suicide prevention and mental health.
Many of the following resources were gathered by Mental Health First Aid Colorado.
Are you experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition? Visit the free and confidential screening tools page from Mental Health America to find out.
The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) promotes research, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers involved in suicide prevention.
The Jason Foundation Website provides information, tools and resources to help identify at-risk youth and know how to assist them in getting help before a tragedy occurs.
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation website provides information and downloadable fact sheets on depressive disorders.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) provides information about suicide, support for survivors, prevention, research and more.
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has fact sheets on suicide by state and by population characteristics, as well as on many other subjects.
The Mayo Clinic maintains a webpage with preventative measures and suicide warning signs for parents of teenagers.
This American Academy of Family Physicians article discusses the causes of teen suicide and includes a list of questions for concerned parents to ask their child’s doctors.