Seeking Help If You Are Contemplating Suicide

The last thing that most people expect is that they will run out of reasons to live. But if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you need to know that you’re not alone. By some estimates, as many as one in six people will become seriously suicidal at some point in their lives.

Important facts we would like to share with you

While you may have tried several ways to solve the problems you are facing, there are likely other potential solutions that you may not be aware of yet.

For example, many people who have suicidal thoughts suffer from mental and emotional illnesses that are likely caused by biological imbalances that require medication. Research studies show that the vast majority of people who receive appropriate treatment improve or recover completely. Even if you have received treatment before, you should know that different treatments work better for different people in different situations. Several tries are sometimes necessary before the right combination is found. Be patient with yourself and others trying to help you, and advocate for yourself when treatment is not helping.

While your pain may feel unbearable, your crisis is likely temporary and with help the pain will pass.

Although it might seem as if your unhappiness will never end, it is important to realize that crises are usually time-limited. Solutions are found, feelings change, unexpected positive events occur. Suicide is sometimes referred to as “a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Don’t let suicide rob you of better times that will come your way when you allow more time to pass and seek professional help. Endure the moment so you can have the rest of your life.

Problems are seldom as great as they appear at first glance.

Job loss, financial problems, loss of important people in our lives—all such stressful events can seem catastrophic at the time they are happening. Then, months or years later, they usually look smaller and more manageable. Sometimes, imagining ourselves "five years down the road" can help us to see that a problem that currently seems catastrophic will pass and that we will survive. Reach out for help during these moments to start your healing.

While you may have reasons that suicide seems like your only option, there is another part of you that sees reasons for living. These are the reasons you are still here and the reasons that you can beat the suicidal urges.

You have the strength to endure these unbearable pains, we know this because you are still here. You don’t have to endure this alone, reach out for help. Viktor Frankl, a famous psychologist, once conducted a study of Nazi concentration camp survivors and found that those who survived almost always reported strong beliefs about what was important in life. You , too, can strengthen your connection with life if you consider what has sustained you through hard times in the past and now. Family ties, religion, love of art or nature, and dreams for the future are just a few of the many aspects of life that provide meaning and gratification, but which we can lose sight of due to emotional distress.

If you have thoughts of suicide, talk to someone—you are not alone.

These options are available to you:

  • Tell someone who can help you find help immediately.
    • A community mental health agency
    • A school counselor or psychologist
    • A suicide prevention or crisis intervention center
    • A private therapist
    • A family physician
    • A religious or spiritual leader
  • Stay away from things that might hurt you.
  • Access, an online crisis network staffed by a network of trained volunteers certified in crisis intervention. IMAlive's goal is to empower individuals in despair, address their situations, and help them navigate the most difficult emotional times.
  • Call (800) 273-TALK.
  • Check yourself into the emergency room.
  • If you think you cannot keep yourself safe, dial 911.
  • Remember that most people can be helped with a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

If you don't have insurance, the following options might be used:

  • Go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
  • Look in your local yellow pages or Internet search under "mental health" or "suicide prevention," then call the mental health organizations or crisis phone lines that are listed. There may be clinics or counseling centers in your area operating on a sliding or no-fee scale.
  • Some pharmaceutical companies have free medication programs for those who qualify. Visit the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill website for more information.