Suicide Prevention

If you are in danger or need immediate medical attention, please call 911

If you are suicidal

  • You are not alone. We at HELPLine care about you and want you to live. If you ever want someone to talk to, call us anytime, 24/7, at (434) 295-8255.
  • You have options other than suicide. It is not too late to decide to live. If you have already been through therapy, medication, etc., know there is always something new to try, like a new psychiatrist or a new coping strategy.
  • Consider the things you still find some joy in now. If you commit suicide, you will never experience those things again.
  • One of the things we know about suicide is that an overwhelming majority of the people who make serious attempts often strongly regret trying to kill themselves.
  • If you find that your efforts to prevent yourself from harm are insufficient, you can go to the hospital, Region X, or call 911 for psychiatric evaluation.

Resources

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
CAPS Emergency Hotline: 434-297-4261

Online Lifeline Crisis Chat: suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Region X (24/7 Mental Health Center): (434) 972-1800

If you are worried about a friend

Know that a suicidal individual has ultimate responsibility for their life, but consider the following.

  • Look for signs that may indicate suicidal intent. Don't be afraid to ask someone if they are suicidal, as this will not make someone previously non-suicidal consider suicide. Warnings include:
    • Sudden, dramatic, unexplained change in a typical behavior pattern (ex. a penny pincher donating a large sum of money or a highly social person becoming withdrawn) 
    • Recovering suddenly and without reason from a severe depression
    • Change in school or work performance
    • Sudden resignation from clubs/organizations/jobs
    • Buying a gun or stockpiling pills
    • Planning for one’s own death (e.g. creating a will, making funeral arrangements, giving away important possessions) or preoccupation with death
    • High risk or self destructive behavior such as heavy drinking, drug use, sexual promiscuity, and self harm
    • Verbal clues ex. “I just wish I were dead” or “I don’t think I can take it anymore” or “They would be better off without me”
  • Offer your support and listen
    • People who are suicidal are going through intense emotional distress and have reasons for their intentions. Convey that you are there for them and are empathetic to what they are going through. Just showing someone you care about them and care that they live can make a huge difference.
  • Explore their reasons to live, such as sports, school, relationships, or future plans
    • Emphasize the permanence of suicide and the fact that they will never be able to do or experience the things they love (or once loved) again
  • Show them that there other options
    • People who are suicidal often view suicide as the only option. Suggest therapy, medication, support groups, and alternative coping strategies. If they feel they have tried all their options, point out that there is always another therapist, medication, etc.
  • If they are in immediate danger of harming themselves, take them to the hospital or call an ambulance.