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Help Prevent Suicide

Suicide can touch anyone, anywhere, and at any time. But it is not inevitable. There is hope.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

If you are feeling alone and having thoughts of suicide—whether or not you are in crisis—or know someone who is, don’t remain silent. Talk to someone you can trust through the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Call or text 988 or chat the Lifeline.

  • Help for You

    Talking with someone about your thoughts and feelings can save your life. There are steps you can take to keep yourself safe through a crisis. Call or text 988 any time or chat online with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to get support also find resources on:

    • Finding a therapist/support group.
    • Building and using a support network.
    • Making a safety plan for yourself

    Help for Someone You Know

    Learn how to recognize the warning signs when someone’s at risk—and what action steps you can take. If you believe someone may be in danger of suicide:

    • Call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to talk to a caring professional.
    • Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves. This will not put the idea into their head or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.
    • Listen without judging and show you care.
    • Stay with the person or make sure the person is in a private, secure place with another caring person until you can get further help.
    • Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
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    Who Is at Risk?

    Thoughts of suicide can touch any person anywhere. But some groups in the U.S. are more at risk for various reasons. Learn more about how to help these groups and special resources available.

  • Warning Signs

    The causes of suicide are complex and determined by multiple combinations of factors, such as mental illness, substance abuse, painful losses, exposure to violence, and social isolation.

    Warning signs that may mean someone is at risk include:

    • Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
    • Looking for a way to kill oneself
    • 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
    • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
    • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
    • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • About the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

    The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a free, confidential 24/7 phone line that connects individuals in crisis with trained counselors across the United States.

    You don’t have to be suicidal or in crisis to call the Lifeline. People call to talk about lots of things: substance abuse, economic worries, relationships, sexual identity, illness, getting over abuse, depression mental and physical illness, and loneliness. Here’s more about the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline:

    • You are not alone in reaching out. In 2021, the Lifeline received 3.6 million calls, chats, and texts. 
    • The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a network of more than 200 state and local call centers supported by HHS through SAMHSA.
    • Calls to the Lifeline are routed to the nearest crisis center for connections to local resources for help.
    • Responders are trained counselors who have stopped over 90 percent of suicide attempts or ideation among callers.
    • Learn what happens when you call the Lifeline network.
    • Frequently asked questions about the Lifeline.

    What We Know About Suicide in the U.S.

    Someone dies from suicide every 11 minutes — and for the first time in recent generations, life expectancy is decreasing due to suicide. According to the latest research:

    Suicide touches whole communities. Each person who dies by suicide leaves behind people who knew that person, along with the impact of suicide and the bereavement that follows.

    Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. For instance, faith communities can work to prevent suicide simply by helping people navigate the struggles of life to find a sustainable sense of hope, meaning, and purpose.

    Losing a loved one to suicide can be profoundly painful for family and friends. SAMHSA’s Suicide Prevention Resource Center helps loss survivors find local and national organizations, websites, and other resources that provide support, healing, and a sense of community.

Last Updated

Last Updated: 02/07/2023