SAMHSA provides handbook to help people in recovery from suicide attempts

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is providing free copies of a booklet designed to help people who have attempted suicide take their first steps toward healing and recovery.   A Journey Toward Health and Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery after a Suicide Attempt can now be ordered and downloaded from the SAMHSA Store. 

The tools and stories contained in the booklet come from the firsthand experiences of individuals who have survived a suicide attempt and their supporters.  These personal accounts about how people overcame the challenges of suicidal thoughts and behaviors can help others learn they are not alone, how they can build hope, and most importantly, how to stay safe in challenging times.   

In 2014, about 1.1 million adults in this country attempted suicide, but most of them did not go on to die by suicide. The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention notes that even people who have positive experiences with treatment and services after their suicide attempt can struggle with reintegrating into their homes, schools, and workplaces. Feelings such as embarrassment and shame coupled with the silence that often surrounds the topic of suicide can make conversations difficult and foster isolation from friends and loved ones.  This booklet helps people who survive a suicide attempt begin to find hope, strength, and support.

The booklet addresses such common questions as, “How did I get to this point?” and “Am I the only one who feels this way?” It also includes evidence-based information on:

  • Taking the first steps: Talking with others about your attempt, re-establishing connections, planning to stay safe, and finding a counselor,
  • Moving toward a hopeful future: Finding and maintaining hope, staying in control by being organized, taking medication, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle,
  • Using practical, personalized tools, such as a Safety Plan, and
  • Finding online resources for more information.

If you or someone you care about is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, please call or chat with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For additional information on SAMHSA suicide prevention programs please visit:

For more information, contact the SAMHSA Press Office at 240-276-2130.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

Last Updated: 09/10/2015