» In an emergency or crisis
- If you have tried to hurt yourself or have recently attempted, get help immediately by calling 911
- If you are not hurt, have a friend help you get to the emergency room
- If you are having suicidal thoughts and need to talk to a crisis counselor you have several options
» Remove access to lethal means
If you are having suicidal thoughts, it’s important to remove items that could be potentially harmful like knives, firearms or medications. Ask a friend or family member to store your medications until you feel better. If you own a firearm, store it in a safe or lock box separate from ammunition and ask a friend or family member to hold onto the key for you.
» Learn more about what’s going on
Start by learning the symptoms of depression and the warning signs of suicide. Be honest with yourself as you evaluate your own thoughts and feelings. Do not be afraid to reach out even if you think your problems are too small. If something negatively affects you or is keeping you from living mentally well, it matters.
» Get talking
Even if you don’t think you will act upon them, if you are having thoughts about killing or hurting yourself, you need to talk about it with someone. This is a vital first step in the process of getting better. Know that it is OK to have suicidal thoughts, but it’s not OK to keep your thoughts secret. Don’t be afraid to reach out or ask for help. Help is available and more options for getting help exist than ever before. Reach out to at least one or more of the following:
- Family member
- Crisis counselor (1-800-273-8255 in USA) or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisistextline.org).
- Primary Care Doctor
- Mental Health Professional (Therapist)
- Teacher or educator you trust
- Church Leader
- Find a Support Group
- Online peer support (we recommend trying 7 Cups of Tea)
» Create a safety plan
Having a safety plan in place during a time of emotional vulnerability or in crisis is one way to help manage your thoughts and feelings and a quick way to refer yourself to help. Use the link below for a safety plan template. Share your safety plan with your doctor(s), family, friends, or anyone else in your support network.
» Take care of your physical health
Are you taking care of your physical health? In times of bad or negative stress or after a major life event, remember to pay attention to your body. Mental and physical health are deeply interconnected, and it’s important to deal with any health issues that may be holding you back. If health issues are part of the problem, consider seeing a therapist who may help you adjust to your new physical reality. If you are physically able, try a new exercise regimen. If you’re new to exercise, remember to consult with your doctor before beginning or start slow and gradually increase intensity and longevity.