Important Information About Suicide

Are you or someone you know feeling suicidal?

Call our 24-hour English/Spanish Crisis Line:

1-(800) 273-TALK (8255)

1-(877) 727-4747

Toll free in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial Counties.

Many people at some point in their lives think about suicide. Most decide to live because they eventually come to see their crisis is temporary while death is permanent. But the will to live can be drastically affected for people experiencing unbearable anguish or stress. Perhaps they are living with mental illness or they are suffering from the loss of a job, a loved one or a relationship. Whatever the cause, when people feel totally alone and hopeless about their future, they may begin to regard death as preferable to life.

The good news is that most people who are thinking about suicide decide to live. Somehow they find ways to cope with the pain they are experiencing. The staff of the Suicide Prevention Center believe that the best way to prevent suicide is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for people to talk about how they are feeling without being judged.

The Suicide Prevention Center (SPC) offers a 24-hour crisis hotline and daily chat services for those who are thinking about suicide or worried about someone who is. Individuals who have lost someone to suicide can also call to discuss their feelings or join a Survivor After Suicide support group. SPC also offers support groups for those who have attempted suicide or are dealing with persistent suicidal thoughts. SPC also provides educational workshops on suicide.

Risk Factors and Warning Signs

How to help a Suicidal Person:

If you or someone you know is in imminent danger of suicide (cannot stay safe in the immediate future), call 911 or seek emergency help at a hospital or mental health clinic.

You can also call our 24-hour Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-TALK (8255). If you don’t know if the person is in imminent danger, the counselors on the hotline can help you assess the risk.

Other Ways to Help a Suicidal Person:

  • Express your concern about factors you have observed. Be empathic and non-judgmental.
  • Listen. You may be scared, especially if the person is someone who is close to you. However, it is important to listen to how they are feeling without overreacting.
  • Accept the person’s feelings as they are. Do not try to cheer him/her up by making positive, unrealistic statements.
  • Show that you care and want to help.
  • Ask directly about their suicidal thoughts - “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”
  • Take suicidal thoughts and feelings seriously. Three out of four people who die by suicide give some warning to a friend or family member.
  • Ask if he/she has developed a plan of suicide. The presence of a well-developed plan indicates a more serious intent.
  • Remove lethal means of suicide from the person’s home.
  • Let him/her know that suicidal feelings are temporary, that depression can be treated, and that problems can be solved.
  • Never agree to keep serious suicidal thoughts in confidence. Inform family members and friends.
  • Be supportive and follow up.
  • Assist with finding alternatives to suicide.  Develop a safety plan with him/her.
  • If you cannot develop a safety plan and a suicide attempt is immenent, seek outside emergency intervention at a hospital, mental health clinic or call our Suicide Prevention Center.
  • Post our 24-hour Crisis Line telephone number in his/her vicinity and by your office or home phones.

Didi Hirsch's Suicide Prevention Center offers Suicide Prevention Training programs.