If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideation or thoughts of harming yourself, help is out there. Below are resources for suicide prevention that you can use for yourself or pass along to someone you know.
National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline – 988
The first resource to become familiar with is the national suicide and crisis lifeline. As of July 16th, 2020, the number 988 went live. Previously, the only number available was 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The longer number will continue to function indefinitely alongside 988 as a number one can dial to reach the lifeline; however, 988 is now available as a faster option one can dial in order to reach a suicide prevention specialist.
Other Functions of 988
The national suicide and crisis lifeline can also be reached via text and chat.
Suicide Prevention Resources for Youth
The dangers of suicide among young people are sometimes underestimated, but it’s the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24. The experiences of young people are valid, and you deserve to get help. Below are some ideas for how to keep yourself or the young person in your life safe.
- How to Create a Youth Safety Plan – This resource is helpful for creating a safety plan to develop coping skills ahead of a crisis.
- SAMHSA Mental Health Services Locator – This is a confidential resource to find mental health services such as therapy.
- Bullying Resources – If you or a young person you know is experiencing bullying, this resource may be helpful.
- Inclusive Therapist Finder – Inclusive therapy may be the key to helping some feel completely understood.
- Support Group, Psychiatrist, and Therapist Finder – This is a comprehensive resource for finding medication management, therapy, or support groups in your area.
Suicide Prevention Resources for LGBTQ+
People in the LGBTQ+ community are at a high risk of suicide and other mental health struggles due to a number of complex factors. Resources are out there if you are experiencing some of those struggles, or if you are trying to provide support to an LGBTQ+ person in your life. Some of these resources include:
- Trans Lifeline – Transgender peer emotional and financial support.
- The Trevor Project – Information and support to LGBTQ+ young people 24/7, all year around.
- LGBTQ+ Sexual Health Education Resources – Facts for either individuals to educate themselves or people to educate others on sexual health topics related to LGBTQ+.
- It Gets Better – Hope for LGBTQ+ – A place to connect LGBTQ+ people around the world.
Guides for Allies
Suicide Prevention Resources for Veterans
Serving in and leaving the military can be a difficult time in one’s life. If this is you, you’re not alone. A crisis can arise at any time, and it’s okay to look for resources. Some resources and tips that may be helpful include:
- Veterans Crisis Line – Dial 988 and then press option 1.
- National Resource Directory – This directory contains validated resources that support recovery, rehab, and reintegration for veterans, their families, and their caregivers.
- VA Local Resources – This directory can help veterans find local counseling, benefits assistance, and other resources such as support groups.
- Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator – This is a confidential and anonymous source of information for those looking for potential treatment of mental health struggles or substance abuse issues.
- How to Create a Safety Plan – This resource is helpful for creating a safety plan to develop coping skills ahead of a crisis.
Suicide Prevention Resources for Post Partum
Pregnancy and postpartum can be difficult for new moms. It’s important to have resources ready. If you need help, check out these resources below or call the national suicide and crisis lifeline.
- Make a safety plan – Having a safety plan ready for when/if you feel depressed or suicidal can be a lifesaver. Safety plans can include coping strategies, supports in your life, what others can do if you’re in crisis, and more.
- Postpartum Support International and Helpline – This resource is for anyone who has given birth and is experiencing postpartum depression or has experienced pregnancy loss, infant or child loss, or other perinatal mental health disorders. This website contains information for their helpline, online support groups, loss and grief resources, and more.
- National Maternal Mental Health Hotline – 1-833-943-5746 (1-833-9-HELP4MOMS)
- Mom’s Mental Health Matters – Education and resources surrounding the effects of birth on mental health and what to do about it.
Suicide Prevention for the Black Community
Studies show that suicide rates among the black community have been increasing faster than any other racial/ethnic group. Complex factors such as barriers to care and treatment due to structural racism lead to outcomes like only one in three black adults receiving needed care. See the resources below to utilize for yourself if you’re in crisis or to pass along if needed.
- Therapy for Black Girls – This resource is a tool that can help find therapists specific to the common needs of black girls.
- Therapy for Black Men – This resource is a tool that can help find therapists specific to the common needs of black men.
- Center for Healing Racial Trauma – Healing Trauma can be vital to suicide prevention. This resource offers services and training to help marginalized communities heal.
- BEAM – Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective – This institution builds grants, holds trainings, and builds movements to help heal the black community.
- Black Mental Health Alliance – This resource provides resources and community education about healing practices and culturally relevant approaches to racial challenges, as well as empowering the black community.
Suicide Prevention Resources for Neurodivergent Individuals
- Neurodiversity Network – This resource contains comprehensive information on where you can find yourself or someone you know to help with mental health struggles that you may be facing. This includes crisis numbers, blogs where you can connect with others, and more.
- Autism & Warning Signs of Suicide – This resource helps yourself and others become aware of what it might look like if an autistic person is contemplating suicide and what to do to intervene to help yourself or them.
- Autistic Self Advocacy Network – Because autism is sometimes misunderstood or ignored by healthcare professionals, it’s important to know how to self-advocate for your own mental wellness. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network has many resources to educate you on your rights, how to stand up for yourself, and updates on various laws and other things going on in the world that could impact you.
People who are neurodivergent, such as those who are autistic, have ADHD, or have other disorders, may experience the world differently than neurotypicals (people without those conditions). This can bring on unique challenges and mental health struggles. Below are some resources for neurotypical individuals.
Suicide Prevention Resources for Older Adults and Seniors
Suicide attempts are often more lethal in older adults than in younger adults. Depression and suicidal thoughts do not discriminate, and you can struggle no matter your age. Suicide rates are particularly high among older men, with men over the age of 85 and older having the highest rate of any group in the country. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, there is help available. Take a look at the resources below that may be helpful for yourself or someone you know.
- Institute on Aging: Friendship Line – This resource is a 24/7 crisis line available
specifically for people aged 60 years and older and adults living with disabilities. They also provide wellness checks and other outreach services for older adults.
- Suicide Prevention Alliance – This resource holds information on older adult suicide and a compilation of resources and informative material.
- United Way 211 – Note that this is not a crisis number, however, this resource is helpful in a number of ways. If you or a senior is struggling, the number 211 can be called to reach a phone representative in your area to find local mental health resources or even social services such as rental assistance or other assistance for issues that may be causing stress.
Working in Mental Health
While there are many ways to help individuals who are struggling with mental health challenges, becoming a marriage and family therapist will provide you with the skillset needed to more directly assist those in need. The following list includes MFT programs that have been accredited by COAMFTE, which is the major accrediting body for marriage and family therapy programs. The cost of MFT programs can also be high, so we have put together a guide on finding affordable mft programs in your area or online.