The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers a suicide prevention hotline for individuals who are struggling with issues related to suicide or for those who are worried about someone who may be suicidal. The hotline is available, free of charge, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Counselors on the lines have received extensive training in suicide prevention and are able to talk about your concerns in a sensitive and discrete way and help find resources that may be available in your community.
The hotline can be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Counselors are also available for online chatting during limited hours. See http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ for more information.
Often, the problems that have led to your pain and suicidal thinking may have been developing for a significant period of time and it may take some time to address them. Counseling or therapy can often help you to address the core problems that are causing you to feel the way you do and help you discover ways to handle those problems.
There are many types of counseling and it may be overwhelming to find the one that works best for you. Many times, however, just having someone to talk to that won’t judge you can be helpful, no matter what type of counselor they are. Sometimes your insurance or budget may lead you to certain types of counselors that are most accessible for you. You may have to try several counselors before you find one that is a good match for you.
Many people have found Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) particularly helpful when struggling with suicidal thoughts or attempts. Click here for more information about types of counseling recommended for suicide attempt survivors.
After a suicide attempt, some people find it incredibly helpful to talk to others who have been through the same thing. Support groups can help with the stigma of talking about suicide, since other members will have had similar experiences. Members can also learn what has been helpful for others during their recovery. Another great thing about support groups is that oftentimes, they are free or low cost.
There are different types of groups in different communities. Some are led by therapists while others are peer-led. Some are open groups (you can just drop in when you want) while others are closed (you commit to attending for a certain period of time (maybe eight weeks, for example).
A few communities have groups specifically for people who have made a suicide attempt (click here for a list of these types of groups). Others communities only have groups for issues such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse.
If you know of a group in your community for suicide attempt survivors that we might add to the list or if you would like more information about starting a group, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Film Board of Canada produced a short documentary following a group therapy program for suicide attempt survivors. Click here to watch the video.
Suicidal thinking or a suicide attempt often can come as the result of struggling with depression, anxiety or some other mental health issue. Many mental health concerns can also have a biological component that can be improved with medication. Some people find that medication can ease the symptoms of their mental illness, thus easing the emotional pain they are experiencing. Others find that regular exercise and healthy eating help them to feel better.
Taking medication is a personal decision and should be discussed with your doctor or psychiatrist. If you decide that medication may be helpful for you it is crucial that you take it as prescribed. Many people are inclined to stop taking their medication once they see improvements in how they are feeling, however this can be dangerous and can cause your symptoms to worsen. Always consult your doctor when making any changes to your medication.