IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS IN CRISIS, CALL 9-1-1 OR
PLEASE CONTACT THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE
Suicide Warning Signs
Identifying the warning signs of suicide can often mean the difference between life and death. The importance of recognizing common warning signs of suicidal behavior and knowing when to take action in this emergency situation cannot be overstated. While risk may be high for suicidal behavior, displaying warning signs of suicide such as threatening to kill him or herself, pursuing lethal means and/or a dramatic shift in mood, should be taken seriously as this behavior indicates the immediate risk of suicide as opposed to simply a likelihood. Studies show that, while risk factors can affect an entire demographic and occur more frequently in certain communities or cultures, warning signs are specific to the individual who is in crisis and in need of immediate professional medical intervention.
10 most common warning signs of suicide
- Extreme mood swings and/or personality changes
- Increased fixation on death, suicide and/or violence
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Communicating feelings of hopelessness, such as saying they have “no reason to live”
- Communicating a desire/plan to die by suicide
- Giving away belongings/items of special meaning or significance
- Obtaining a weapon or other means of lethal self-harm
- Increased alcohol and/or substance abuse
- Engaging in risky and/or dangerous behavior
- Loss of interest in people, things, places and activities they previously cared about
How to know if it is an emergency:
- The person has suddenly lost/gained a lot of weight or drastically changed their appearance
- The person has removed him/herself from all social activities and become reclusive
- The person is suddenly unable to maintain a routine/schedule including keeping their job
- The person is suddenly participating in dangerous behavior including substance/alcohol abuse
- The person is suddenly involved in other harmful situations that seem out-of-character including abusive relationships or anonymous sex
What to do if it is an emergency:
- Call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255
- Stay with the person, or if you must leave, ask someone you trust to stay with the suicidal person; do not leave them alone
- Remove all lethal weapons, medications, and other means of potential harm from the premises
- Accompany the person to an emergency room or psychiatric clinic with walk-in services
- Avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation; call 911 for your own safety, if necessary
Resources for Help
Getting help for suicidal thoughts is the most important step of the process. First and foremost, give yourself permission to seek help from a professional. Taking action to save a life is not “wrong” or “bad”; on the contrary it is the most effective thing you can do for yourself or someone else who is in crisis. This comprehensive resource lists suicide prevention hotlines, available 24/7, for those who need help wherever they are.
•Blue Ridge Community and Technical College has a contract with East Ridge Health Systems, a local community mental health facility. This partnership helps students with mental illness and adjustment issues to live productive lives and to succeed academically.
Students will have three visits that are covered by the college if the student does not meet WV charity care requirements. Students will become self-pay after the first three sessions if they do not meet WV charity care requirement or are covered by insurance.
In the event of a mental health crisis after hours, the local 24-hour hotline is available to everyone at 304-263-8954.
For more information, please contact: Student Development Coordinator: or 304.260.4380 x 2117.
•Suicide Prevention Resource Center – This comprehensive resource provides online tips and in-depth research to support suicide prevention, targeting individual age groups, demographics and settings. The site also features information about training events, webinar opportunities, and current news.
•National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – As the online component of the nation’s most comprehensive hotline-based-provider of suicide prevention services, SuicidePreventionLifeline.org offers immediate online resources for those in crisis, including live chat, an in-person crisis center locator function, and options for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
•American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – At AFSP.org, visitors can find a local chapter of the organization, which offers programs in all 50 states, in their community. This resource offers a wide range of support not only to those experiencing suicidal thoughts or who have attempted suicide, but also those who have lost someone to suicide or are concerned for someone else.
National Suicide Resources
- I’m Alive: The first online crisis center manned completely by volunteers trained and certified in crisis intervention.
- Suicide.org: A non-profit organization providing suicide hotlines and other suicide awareness tools and resources, categorized by state.
- Suicidology.org: A non-profit membership organization dedicated to suicide prevention efforts and professional training for suicide counselors and specialists.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Mental health organization providing local counseling and healthcare and crisis intervention services in all 50 states.
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): An extension of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NIMH promotes awareness of suicide prevention through clinical trials and evidence-based research.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Use the search tool to find a support group to help those at-risk in your area.
- Samaritans.org: Online counseling program offering confidential internet therapy via email or chat for those depressed or having suicidal thoughts.
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: Use the support group locator tool to find a virtual DBSA support group to join online, in real time.
- NAMI Connection: Searchable using the online tool, programs are offered locally throughout the U.S. to provide peer-to-peer support for people with mental illness to share stories and encouragement.
- Mental Health America: The organization’s Peer Services offer counseling, support groups, and skill-building programs in various satellite sites across the U.S.
Resources for Those Helping Others
- Befrienders.org: Worldwide organization offering tools and resources to those with a friend or family member in crisis or who is suicidal.
- The Jason Foundation: Resource dedicated to cultivating prospective counselors and educators specializing in youth crisis intervention and suicide prevention awareness.
- Speaking of Suicide: A blog-based site founded by a licensed psychotherapist to openly discuss and research suicide and provide information for aspiring counselors and educators in this specialty.
- Network for Good: Features a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities at various suicide prevention organizations across the U.S.
- Seize the Awkward Silence
- Signs: When it comes to checking in on a friend about their mental health, trust your instincts. Learn more about the signs.
- Ways to Ask: If you’ve noticed your friend hasn’t seemed like themselves recently, #SeizeTheAwkward and learn ask them how they’re feeling!
- After the Conversation: Opening up about mental health can make your friendships even stronger. Learn more about what to do after the conversation.
Resources for College Students
- ULifeline: The online component of The Jed Foundation campus program, ULifeline offers confidential internet support for mental health issues affecting college students nationwide.
- American College Health Association: Includes alphabetized listings of resources surrounding health and mental health of college-related topics including LGBT and campus violence.
- Facebook: The social media site features a “reporting” function if you see a suicidal comment on a friend’s page and click the attached link, which sends an encouraging message to them via email to call a hotline or begin a confidential chat online.
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Features a search tool to find a local licensed therapist in your area who specializes in mental health.
- StartYourRecovery.org is a tool that helps students take steps toward a more healthy relationship with drugs and alcohol. On the site, students can learn about the experiences of people like them, find the answers they need, and locate support. It’s a free resource and was developed based on input from leading clinicians, people in recovery, and experts from the White House and SAMHSA. We have also added a new content page directed specifically at a collegiate audience: College Students Page.
Resources for Those Who Have Lost Someone to Suicide
- I’ve Lost Someone: The suicide survivor network of the AFSP, offering comprehensive resources for both immediate grief support and long-term care.
- Alliance of Hope: Multi-faceted grief and support resource featuring a community forum and memorial message board dedicated to those who have died by suicide.
- Survivors of Suicide (SOS): Online support resource for suicide survivors featuring member-protected discussion boards, memorials, and special section for friends of survivors.
- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education: Offers online suicide survivor resources as well as national listings of support groups for those grieving the suicide of a loved one.
- AAS Suicide Loss Survivors: A component of the American Association of Suicidology, this resource for suicide survivors includes tips, tools, training opportunities and book recommendations.
For more information, please go to http://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/suicide-prevention/.