Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young adults in the nation today. You can save a life by simply being willing to ASK about suicide. Do not ignore the warning signs.
If you are in need of immediate assistance please dial 911. The suicide prevention lifeline link below is designated for anyone. If you would like a specialized counselor concerning veterans or LGBTQ issues select from the numbers below.
What can you do to offer support when you hear suicidal language or witness suicidal behavior?
- ASK about suicide
- Seek more information and keep safe
- Know where and how to refer (take action)
ASK About Suicide
Asking is not going to solidify the idea in the individual's mind, the idea is already there. Asking allows you to get a feel on how far along in the process the individual is. You can choose to be direct or indirect with how you ask the individual.
- Direct appropach:
- Have you thought about suicide?
- Do you want to kill yourself?
- Are you thinking about suicide?
- Indirect approach:
- Sometimes when people are sad, as you are, they may think about suicide. Have you ever thought about it?
- Do you want to go to sleep and never wakeup?
- Always ASK it is the most important step in the process of gathering information. If you don't feel comfortable ASKing go to someone who does.
- Listen attentively and keep from making judgemental remarks, the individual may stop talking when this occurs.
Seek More Information
- Seek a private place to talk. Establish trusting dialogue. Comment on what you hear and observe objectively and non-judgmentally.
- Seek to understand how long the thoughts of suicide have been present and if an attempt has been made previously.
- Seek to understand if they have a plan to attempt suicide.
- Do they have the means to carry out their plan (gun, prescription pills, etc).
- Take action to limit access to lethal means.
- Notify a police, friends or a family member if you see the immediate need.
- Safety Plan
- Who can the person speak to when they feel unsafe?
- What activities can they engage in that will take their mind off of suicidal thoughts?
- Always obtain the persons location if you are speaking to them via phone or email.
Know How and Where to Refer
Assisting someone who is actively suicidal is not easy and KNOWing how and where to refer makes the situation less intimidating.
- If the person is at immediate risk for suicide call 911
- You may contact CTX Police & CTX Counselor if the person is talking about suicide
- Police 512-313-3311
- Counselor 512-313-5032
- Austin Travis County Integral Care & Mobile Crisis (mobile crisis will come to your location to assess the individual)
- 24/7 Crisis Line 512-472-4357
- National Suicide Prevention Lifelines
- Veteran's 1-800-273-8255 then 1
- LGBTQ 1-866-488-7386
Suicide Warning Signs
If you recognize any of the signs below in an individual ASK about suicide.
- Threatening to hurt or kill oneself
- Looking for ways to kill oneself by obtaining firearms, pills, or other means
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feeling trapped
- Belief that there is no reason to live
- Increased anxiety or agitation
- Increased substance use
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities
Remember, you have the ability to safe a life, ASK about suicide.
Adapted from "ASK About Suicide" training from Texas Suicide Prevention Resource Center.