The suicide deaths of celebrity chef and journalist Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade this week are sobering reminders that thoughts of suicide can afflict many of us. Amid these tragedies—news of which itself can trigger suicidal impulses in some people—it is vital to know how to get help.
The Jed Foundation provides the following valuable information—please check out these links if you are having thoughts of suicide, or know someone who may be at risk:
I’m having thoughts of suicide
Someone I know may be at risk of suicide
From the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Know the risk factors and warning signs for suicide
For immediate help:
If you are thinking about harming yourself, please get help now:
- Call 911
- Go to the nearest emergency room
- Text “START” to 741-741 or Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Go to your local health care provider or campus counseling service (during business hours) or campus security
If you are having thoughts of self-harm, know that you don’t have to deal with your difficult thoughts and feelings alone. There are resources out there to help you – if you feel like the people you know can’t handle your problems or if you feel like you are beyond being helped or you don’t want to tell your problems to people you know, there are many other ways to get help, support and guidance from people who are available to you 24/7. Counselors at hotlines, crisis centers, or emergency rooms are able to assist you during your worst hours – they will not judge you or force you to do something that will make things worse. They are there to listen, support, understand and help.
If you are having thoughts about suicide, it probably means that your pain is unbearable and that you feel like the only way to solve your problems is to harm yourself. It is likely that you feel hopeless, alone and beyond help. At this very low point in your life, it is really important to know that it all can get better and the pain can ease if you get help. If you are able to give yourself a chance, and give it time, you can get to a better place in your life and you will be able to figure out ways to cope with your problems.
If you’re feeling suicidal and are not sure if you can stay safe, please call 911 or a hotline, call campus police/security, or go to the emergency department at the nearest hospital. There are many ways to get help right away.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, but you aren’t immediately thinking of hurting yourself and don’t have a plan, consider doing the following:
- Reach out to someone you feel you can trust (a friend or family member)
It might help you feel less alone and overwhelmed if you talk about your feelings. Remember, now is not the time to worry about hurting their feelings – if it seems like a good friend or family member doesn’t “get it,” move on to someone else who can listen in a way that helps you and give you support in a way that is useful.
- Make an appointment at the campus counseling center or with a health care provider
Ask to be seen as soon as possible even if you feel your situation is not an emergency. If they question your request for an urgent appointment, tell them you are having thoughts of harming yourself. When you have thoughts of suicide, it is best not to put off talking about your struggles – this is a very vulnerable time for you and the sooner you find support and guidance, the better.
- Connect to an academic advisor or a religious/faith counselor
Most faith and academic professionals have access to resources to get you help.
- Call a crisis hotline to talk with someone who has experience with these issues and can offer you support and connect you to resources
Text “START” to 741-741 or call (800) 273-TALK (8255)
Remember: With time and support, it can get better; remember that even if suicidal thoughts and impulses come and go (or even go away), they signal a serious problem and getting help is the best way to get better and heal.
Source: The Jed Foundation