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Considering Suicide? STOP!

Suicide IS PERMANENT!

IF YOU NEED IMMEDIATE HELP...

Information on understanding and helping the suicidal person.The internet is not a great place for immediate one-on-one communication. If you're feeling suicidal or overwhelmed by anxiety, internet help is available, but should be tried only after you have called a friend, loved one, clergy, doctor, local hotline, or 911.

To access slower internet help, contact Samaritans. Samaritans is a British institution providing free and confidential suicide intervention. They can be contacted by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They answer their mail once a day. To talk to a Samaritan by phone, get the number at their web site: UK and Ireland, rest of world.

If you have a friend or a loved one who is suicidal:

Understanding and Helping a Suicidal Person

What Can I Do To Help Someone Who May Be Suicidal?

1. TAKE IT SERIOUSLY

a. Myth: "The people who talk about it don't do it." Studies have found that more than 75% of all completed suicides did things in the few weeks or months prior to their deaths to indicate to others that they were in deep despair. Anyone expressing suicidal feelings needs immediate attention.

b. Myth: "Anyone who tries to kill himself has got to be crazy." Perhaps 10% of all suicidal people are psychotic or have delusional beliefs about reality. Most suicidal people suffer from the recognized mental illness of depression; but many depressed people adequately manage their daily affairs. The absence of "craziness" does not mean the absence of suicide risk.

c. "Those problems weren't enough to commit suicide over," is often said by people who knew a completed suicide. You cannot assume that because you feel something is not worth being suicidal about, that the person you are with feels the same way. It is not how bad the problem is, but how badly it's hurting the person who has it.

2. REMEMBER: SUICIDAL BEHAVIOR IS A CRY FOR HELP

Myth: "If a someone is going to kill himself, nothing can stop him." The fact that a person is still alive is sufficient proof that part of him wants to remain alive. The suicidal person is ambivalent - part of him wants to live and part of him wants not so much death as he wants the pain to end. It is the part that wants to live that tells another "I feel suicidal." If a suicidal person turns to you it is likely that he believes that you are more caring, more informed about coping with misfortune, and more willing to protect his confidentiality. No matter how negative the manner and content of his talk, he is doing a positive thing and has a positive view of you.


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Last Updated: 13 June 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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