Suicide has become epidemic. It is most prevalent in men in the 45-75 age group, but it happens far too frequently across all age groups, races, genders and economic classes. Military veterans are reported to have double the suicide rate of non-veterans and LGBTQ youth and adults have rates three times higher than national averages.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers five steps to help someone who may be considering suicide.
- Ask if they are considering suicide. Asking does not “put the idea in their head” but opens a dialogue.
- If someone admits to considering suicide, it’s important to seek medical attention especially if they shared their plan or have access to firearms.
- If you can, get them talking and listen without judgment. Let them know you are there to listen.
- Help the find a support system.
- Follow up with them. It could prevent thoughts of suicide or another attempt.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, as of July 2022, just dial 988 anywhere in the United States for the suicide prevention lifeline. The new shorter number is easier to remember to access mental health crisis services. The traditional number, 800-273-8255, will remain functional as well.