World Suicide Prevention Day
We Care, We Connect, We Recover
Join Safe Communities, Madison-Dane Co. and NAMI’s Green Bandana Project for World Suicide Prevention Day
Warning Signs for Suicide:
From the National Institute of Mental Health
The behaviors listed below may be some of the signs that someone is thinking about suicide.
- Wanting to die
- Great guilt or shame
- Being a burden to others
- Empty, hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live
- Extremely sad, more anxious, agitated, or full of rage
- Unbearable emotional or physical pain
Changing behavior, such as:
- Making a plan or researching ways to die
- Withdrawing from friends, saying good bye, giving away important items, or making a will
- Taking dangerous risks such as driving extremely fast
- Displaying extreme mood swings
- Eating or sleeping more or less
- Using dangerous drugs or alcohol more often
If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, particularly if the behavior is new or has increased recently.
How can I Help?
“Are you thinking of killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question, but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does NOT increase suicides and or suicidal thoughts.
2. Keep them safe:
Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means makes a difference.
- In order to reduce access to lethal means, Safe Communities launched a Gun Shop Project in 2016 giving people at-risk a place to safely store guns and providing education to gun shop owners about the warning signs of suicide.
3. Be there:
Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.
- Safe Communities also hosts QPR Training (Question Persuade Refer). QPR is CPR for Suicide Prevention. Sign up for QPR Training.
- Wise Wisconsin (which is a part of Rogers Inhealth) also has a Safe Person program. Safe Person provides individuals and organizations with the resources and training they need to enhance non-judgmental listening and effectively support those experiencing emotional distress. Wise provides you with all the resources you need to Host your own Safe Person Training. To learn more, contact Jamie Schrandt with Rogers Behavioral Health.
4. Help them connect:
Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number in your phone so it’s there when you need it: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.
Dane County Crisis Numbers:
Journey Mental Health 24/7 Crisis Line: 608-280-2600
Solstice House Warmline: 608-244-5077
2-1-1 United Way Dane County or (608) 246-HELP (4357)
Hopeline Text Line – Test “HOPELINE” to 741741
HOPELINE is the Emotional Support Text Line in the State of Wisconsin and provides service
throughout the entire state. HOPELINE’s purpose is to offer emotional support and resources
before situations rise to crisis level.
NAMI Dane County – (608) 249-7188
5. Stay Connected:
Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.
6. Create a safety plan:
Patient Safety Plan Template Adopted from the ©2008 Barbara Stanley and Gregory K. Brown
Start the Conversation Today
Talking about suicide helps prevent it. We’ll help you get the conversation started.
The story of Kevin Berthia, a Suicide Survivor, and Sergeant Kevin Briggs, Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge is a powerful story about mental health, suicide and the importance of human connection. Here are some free online videos regarding their story to introduce the topic of suicide and suicide prevention to your group. Suicide is a difficult topic, but discussing it helps us to see the reality of what life is like for those living with mental illness and teaches us how to connect with one another on a deeper level and prevent suicide.
The Bridge Between Suicide and Life– Sergeant Kevin Briggs, Officer who patrolled Golden Gate Bridge
The Impact of Listening – Kevin Berthia, Suicide Survivor
Questions to Help you Guide a Conversation after watching:
- Thoughts on what you just saw?
- Do you know the warnings of suicide?
- Discuss Warning Signs
- What would your response be if you saw these signs in a friend or family member?
- Discuss Five Action Steps
- How can we make it easier to talk about mental health?
- Allowing people, a non-judgmental safe space to talk about mental health is often the best way to make it easier. Empathy is really important when it comes to discussing mental health. Here is a video from Brene Brown regarding empathy.
- Where do we go from here?
- Some people may want to take action. The simplest thing you can do to prevent suicide is allow people to tell their stories, letting others know they are not alone. But participating in QPR Training is another great way to help prevent suicide. Getting involved with the work of Safe Communities by volunteering or donating to their causes is another way to help prevent suicide.
If after having this discussion anyone expresses thoughts of suicide, provide reassurance that they are
not alone. Use your judgement, if they are expressing a plan and seem intent on ending their life, get
help immediately, call 911 or the National Suicide Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255).