Mental Health Crisis Hotline – 24 hours a day/365 days a year
320.253.5555 or 800.635.8008
In a crisis?
Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor
Free 24/7 support at your fingertips
The Text4Life program uses texting as a way for those in crisis or contemplating suicide to anonymously reach out and ask for free and confidential help. You will be connected with a trained counselor who can help by listening, providing tools and resources, and helping you get to a safe place, both emotionally and physically.
Symptoms and Danger Signs
Warning Signs of Suicide
These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change.
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
- Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
Additional Warning Signs of Suicide
- Preoccupation with death.
- Suddenly happier, calmer.
- Loss of interest in things one cares about.
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
- Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order.
- Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or mental health professional.
In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The following are common misconceptions about suicide:
“People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.”
Not True. Almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like “you’ll be sorry when I’m dead,” “I can’t see any way out,” — no matter how casually or jokingly said, may indicate serious suicidal feelings.
“Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy.”
Not True. Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They may be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing. Extreme distress and emotional pain are always signs of mental illness but are not signs of psychosis.
“If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her.”
Not True. Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, and most waiver until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to end their pain. Most suicidal people do not want to die; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.
“People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.”
Not True. Studies of adult suicide victims have shown that more then half had sought medical help within six month before their deaths and a majority had seen a medical professional within 1 month of their death.
“Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.”
Not True. You don’t give a suicidal person ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true — bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.
Someone You Know is Suicidal
- Know What to Watch For
- Know What to Do
Stigma associated with mental illnesses can prevent people from getting help. Your willingness to talk about mental or emotional issues and suicide with a friend, family member, or co-worker can be the first step in getting them help and preventing suicide.
If You See the Warning Signs of Suicide…
Begin a dialogue by asking questions. Suicidal thoughts are common with some mental illnesses and your willingness to talk about it in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational way can be the help a person needs to seeking professional help. Questions okay to ask:
- “Do you ever feel so badly that you think about suicide?”
- “Do you have a plan to commit suicide or take your life?”
- “Have you thought about when you would do it (today, tomorrow, next week)?”
- “Have you thought about what method you would use?”
Asking these questions will help you to determine if your friend or family members is in immediate danger, and get help if needed. A suicidal person should see a doctor or mental health professional immediately. Calling 911 or going to a hospital emergency room are also good options to prevent a tragic suicide attempt or death. Calling the National Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is also a resource for you or the person you care about for help. Remember, always take thoughts of or plans for suicide seriously.
Never keep a plan for suicide a secret. Don’t worry about risking a friendship if you truly feel a life is in danger. You have bigger things to worry about-someone’s life might be in danger! It is better to lose a relationship from violating a confidence than it is to go to a funeral. And most of the time they will come back and thank you for saving their life.
Don’t try to minimize problems or shame a person into changing their mind. Your opinion of a person’s situation is irrelevant. Trying to convince a person suffering with a mental illness that it’s not that bad, or that they have everything to live for may only increase their feelings of guilt and hopelessness. Reassure them that help is available, that what they are experiencing is treatable, and that suicidal feelings are temporary. Life can get better!
If you feel the person isn’t in immediate danger, acknowledge the pain is legitimate and offer to work together to get help. Make sure you follow through. This is one instance where you must be tenacious in your follow-up. Help find a doctor or a mental health professional, participate in making the first phone call, or go along to the first appointment. If you’re in a position to help, don’t assume that your persistence is unwanted or intrusive. Risking your feelings to help save a life is a risk worth taking.
Suicidal Thoughts: What to Do
If you have thoughts of suicide, these options are available to you:
- Dial: 911
- Dial: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For deaf and hearing impaired, click here for options to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
- Check yourself into the emergency room.
- Call your local crisis agency.
- Tell someone who can help you find help immediately.
- Stay away from things that might hurt you.
- Most people can be treated with a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy.
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
- The suicide rates decreased from 1990-2000 from 12.5 suicides per 100,000 to 10.4 per 100,000. Over the past decade, however, the rate has again increased to 12.1 per 100,000. Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
- There is one death by suicide in the US every 12.3 minutes. (CDC)
- Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
- Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. (CDC)
- Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)
- 80% -90% of adolescents that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TADS study)
- An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
- There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
- There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)
- Suicide among males is 4x’s higher than among females. Male deaths represent 79% of all US suicides. (CDC)
- Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males (51%). (CDC)
- Access to firearms is associated with a significantly increased risk of suicide. (NAMI)
- Females are more likely than males to have had suicidal thoughts. (CDC)
- Females experience depression at roughly 2x’s the rate of men.(SMH)
- Females attempt suicide 3x’s as often as males. (CDC)
- Poisoning is the most common method of suicide for females. (CDC)
- 1 in 100,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
- 7 in 100,000 youth ages 15 to 19 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
- 12.7 in 100,000 young adults ages 20-24 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
- The prevalence of suicidal thoughts, suicidal planning and suicide attempts is significantly higher among adults aged 18-29 than among adults aged 30+. (CDC)
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. (CDC)
- Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for adults ages 18-65. (CDC)
- The highest increase in suicide is in males 50+ (30 per 100,000). (CDC)
- Suicide rates for females are highest among those aged 45-54 (9 per 100,000). (CDC)
- Suicide rates for males are highest among those aged 75+ (36 per 100,000). (CDC)
- Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed. (SMH)
Racial and Ethnic Disparaties
- The highest suicide rates in the US are among Whites, American Indians and Alaska Natives.
- Over 800,000 people die by suicide every year.
- There is one death by suicide in the world every 40 seconds.
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-44 years.
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.