Suicide is a growing problem across the nation. At CAPS, we believe it is important to bring awareness to this concern to enhance suicide prevention efforts and promote help-seeking. To learn more about suicide warning signs, getting help, supporting a friend or loved one, and suicide prevention resources, please refer to the links below.
It is important to know that suicidal thoughts or feelings may be present for individuals experiencing depression or other mental health concerns.
Warning Signs that someone may be at risk of suicide may include:
- Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Threatening to hurt or kill oneself
- Seeking access to pills, weapons, or other means to kill oneself
- Giving away personal or prized possessions
- Displaying extreme mood swings
- Taking unnecessary risks/engaging in reckless behaviors
- Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Having made previous suicide attempt(s)
Typically, the more warning signs observed, the greater the risk, especially when they indicate a change from the person’s usual mood or behavior. Risk may also increase following a tragic event or loss, if the individual increases their use of alcohol or drugs, and if the individual behaves in a reckless or agitated manner. It is important to take all signs seriously.
If you are concerned for your immediate safety or that of others, please call 911.
If you are not in immediate danger, but need someone to talk with right now, please call one of the following resources:
- CAPS: 330-672-2487 (for after-hours support, press option 3)
- Kent State University Police Services: 911 (Emergency), 330-672-2212 (Non-Emergency)
- Coleman Access Services: 330-296-3555
- Townhall II Helpline: 330-638-4357
National 24-hour Hotlines:
- Crisis Text Line: Text 4HOPE to 741 741
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Military Veterans: press 1
- Spanish-speaking: press 2
- Trevor Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386
- Trevor provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention to LGBTQ young people ages 13-24. TrevorChat is available 7 days a week 2:00 pm-8:00 pm CST.
- TrevorText is available Fridays 3:00 pm-7:00 pm CST. Text the word “Trevor” to 1.202.304.1200.
- DO trust your intuition.
- DO ask directly if your friend or loved one is thinking about suicide. Asking will not put the idea into their head. (Note: If you are not comfortable asking this question, find someone who can)
- DO call 911 if you are concerned for an individual's immediate safety or if an individual needs immediate attention.
- DO reduce access to available means such as firearms and pills (View recommendations on safe storage)
- Do remain supportive and non-judgmental.
- DO take you time and be patient when responding to someone at risk.
- DO listen carefully to better understand the individual's concerns.
- DO take concerns seriously.
- DO offer hope, reasons to be hopeful, alternatives to the situation, resource information and information on how helpful treatment can be.
- DO urge the individuals to accept professional support. Consider making a phone call to a mental health resource to connect the individual to appropriate services.
- DO access resources by campus
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- DON'T ignore the warning signs.
- DON'T leave someone alone if there is a risk of self-harm.
- DON'T minimize the situation.
- DON'T make the problem your own.
- DON'T argue or try to change the individual's emotions.
- DON’T promise secrecy.
- DON’T try to manage the situation all on your own—consult and get others involved.
Tips for Asking about Suicide
Please know that you cannot put the idea of suicide into someone’s mind—they are either thinking about suicide or they are not. Asking the individual directly about suicide can actually lower distress, and offering hope through listening can help ease emotional pain.
Here are some examples of how you can ask a friend or loved one if they are thinking about suicide:
- “When people are as upset as you seem to be, they sometimes wish they were dead. I’m wondering if you’re feeling that way too?”
- “Are you thinking about ending your life?”
- “Do you have a plan to take your own life?”
If a friend or loved one is expressing a plan for suicide, connect them with immediate help.