WAIT … don’t go! We know this subject is personal.
BUT … we beg you for just a minute of your time.
Yes, suicide is a scary word. It may even be a personal word. But it doesn’t have to be the last word.
Before We Go On, If You Are Struggling:
- You’re not alone.
- We care about you.
- If you are thinking about harming yourself, please call 1-800-273-8255 now.
- If that seems totally scary and overwhelming, text a friend, call a loved one, talk to your adviser — any of the above.
You’ve heard the facts. You’ve seen the stories. Many of us have a personal connection with this preventable tragedy. The truth is suicide is particularly prevalent in young adults.
So, here’s what you need to know to help yourself, help your friends and help break the stigma.
Why Are You Talking to Me About This?
There is no single cause for suicide. It often occurs when stressors exceed the coping abilities. It can also affect those suffering from any of the following:
- Substance problems
How Can I Tell If Someone Is Struggling?
Look out for a change in behavior or the presence of behaviors they didn't have before that might be related to a painful event, loss or change.
There are three main areas to pay attention to:
- Do they express being a burden to others?
- Feeling trapped?
- Experiencing unbearable pain?
- Having no reason to live?
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Looking for ways to complete the act of suicide
- Withdrawing from activities
- Acting reckless
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
- Giving away prized possessions
- Loss of interest
How Can I Help?
Start the discussion.
Talking about it does not give the idea but can provide a safe space to talk about stigmatized feelings.
People who talk about suicide are not doing it to get attention. Bringing up suicide can be very difficult. If someone broaches the topic of suicide, it suggests they want help.
Ways to start a conversation about suicide:
- I have been feeling concerned about you lately.
- Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.
Questions you can ask:
- When did you begin feeling like this?
- How can I best support you right now?
- Have you thought about getting help?
What you can say that helps:
- You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.
- I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
- If someone tells you that he or she is thinking about suicide, it is your responsibility to be an active bystander. You've heard that word before.
- Call 911.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
- Call or go to University Counseling Services (Room 320 Student Union, 405-744-5472).
- Do not leave the person alone.
Even if you aren't experiencing the things we’ve discussed, stress can take hold and quickly affect your life. These resources can help:
- Pete's Pet Posse (click to find these furry friends)
- University Counseling Services (Room 320 Student Union, 405-744-5458)
- Stress Management Program