Learn the warning signs of suicide and what you can do to help yourself and others.
Suicide is an individual, family and community public health crisis with more than 40,000 people dying in America each year. But suicide can be stopped. 70% of people tell someone or give warning signs before taking their own life. Learn the warning signs and how to ACT to save a life.
Introducing the ACT® Message
Created by Screening for Mental Health, the ACT® message is an easy to remember acronym that helps to guide individuals in the process of providing support to those in distress.
ACT: Acknowledge, Care, Treatment
Acknowledge: Take it seriously, and listen.
If you are noticing warning signs or you hear something that sounds troubling, recognizing that something is wrong is the first step.
Care: Take the initiative, and show and/or voice your concern.
When someone is suffering it can be difficult for them to remember there are people that care. Showing your support will make a big difference for someone who is truly struggling.
Treatment: Get professional help immediately.
The best way to care for someone is to get them to an evaluation and to begin the treatment process. Support from friends and family is not enough to combat serious mental health concerns. Mental health treatment is necessary. You can be the important link that someone needs to get connected to treatment.
Talking about suicide or asking a someone if they are suicidal is risky because it might put the idea in their head.
You don't give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true. Bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.
People who talk about suicide are not actually likely to attempt suicide.
Almost everyone who dies by suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore threats of suicide. Statements like "You'll be sorry when I'm dead," or "I can't see any way out" -even if said casually or as a joke- may indicate serious suicidal feelings.
If a person is determined to kill themselves, there isn’t much that can be done to stop them.
Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.