FOR: FRIENDS AND FAMILIES

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Each year in America almost 30,000 people die by suicide, and 70% of those people tell someone or give warning signs before taking their own life.

Are you worried about a friend or loved one? Do you suspect that he/she may be depressed, or may be even considering suicide?

 Learn how to recognize the warning signs in order to reach out and help. If you suspect a friend, family member or co-worker is considering suicide, ACT now: Acknowledge, Care, and help them get the Treatment he or she needs. Here’s what to do:
 

ACT: ACKNOWLEDGE, CARE AND GET TREATMENT

Your friend may have told you that he or she is considering suicide, or you may have recognized the signs and symptoms on your own. Either way, it is important that you take these warning signs seriously, and tell your friend that you care about him or her, and that you are concerned. Because suicide is so often linked with mental illness, your friend may not be able to get the help he or she needs without you.Here’s how to ACT to help a friend, co-worker or loved one that you are concerned about.

1. Acknowledge

  • Do take it seriously. 70% of all people who commit suicide give some warning of their intentions to a friend or family member.
  • Do be willing to listen. Even if professional help is needed, your loved one will be more willing to seek help if you have listened to him or her.

2. Care

  • Do voice your concern. Take the initiative to ask what is troubling your loved one, and attempt to overcome any reluctance on their part to talk about it.
  • Let the person know you care and understand. Reassure them that they are not alone. Explain that even if it seems hard to believe right now, suicidal feelings – although powerful – are only temporary, and that the usual cause (depression) can be treated.
  • Ask if the person has a specific plan. Ask if a suicide plan exists, and if so, how far has he or she gone in carrying it out? (Please note: asking about suicide does not cause a person to think about – or commit – suicide. This is a myth!)

3. Treatment

  • Do get professional help immediately.
  • If the person seems unwilling to accept treatment…
    • Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or a local emergency room for resources and advice.
  • If the person seems willing to accept treatment, do one of the following…
    • Bring him or her to a local emergency room or community mental health center. Your friend will be more likely to seek help if you accompany him or her.
    • Contact his or her primary care physician or mental health provider.

And if all else fails… call 9-1-1 or the Suicide Crisis Line at:   

suicidepreventionlifeline.orgpublished by:Screening for Mental Health, Inc.