What to Do When You Fear Someone May Take Their Life (via AFSP)

When You Fear Someone May Take Their Life

Most suicidal individuals give some warning of their intentions. The most effective way to prevent a friend or loved one from taking his or her life is to recognize the factors that put people at risk for suicide, take warning signs seriously and know how to respond.

Know the Facts


More than 90 percent of people who kill themselves are suffering from one or more psychiatric disorders, in particular:

Depression and the other mental disorders that may lead to suicide are — in most cases — both recognizable and treatable. Remember, depression can be lethal.

The core symptoms of major depression are a “down” or depressed mood most of the day or a loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyed for at least two weeks, as well as:

  • Changes in sleeping patterns

  • Change in appetite or weight

  • Intense anxiety, agitation, restlessness or being slowed down

  • Fatigue or loss of energy

  • Decreased concentration, indecisiveness or poorer memory

  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, self-reproach or excessive or inappropriate guilt

  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide


Between 25 and 50 percent of people who kill themselves had previously attempted suicide. Those who have made suicide attempts are at higher risk for actually taking their own lives.

Availability of means

  • In the presence of depression and other risk factors, ready access to guns and other weapons, medications or other methods of self-harm increases suicide risk.

Recognize the Imminent Dangers

The signs that most directly warn of suicide include:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself

  • Looking for ways to kill oneself (weapons, pills or other means)

  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide

  • Has made plans or preparations for a potentially serious attempt

Other warning signs include expressions or other indications of certain intense feelings in addition to depression, in particular:

  • Insomnia

  • Intense anxiety, usually exhibited as psychic

  • pain or internal tension, as well as panic attacks

  • Feeling desperate or trapped — like there’s no way out

  • Feeling hopeless

  • Feeling there’s no reason or purpose to live

  • Rage or anger

Certain behaviors can also serve as warning signs, particularly when they are not characteristic of the person’s normal behavior. These include:

  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities

  • Engaging in violent or self-destructive behavior

  • Increasing alcohol or drug use

  • Withdrawing from friends or family

Take it Seriously

  • Fifty to 75 percent of all suicides give some warning of their intentions to a friend or family member.

  • Imminent signs must be taken seriously.

Be Willing to Listen

  • Start by telling the person you are concerned and give him/her examples.

  • If he/she is depressed, don’t be afraid to ask whether he/she is considering suicide, or if he/she has a particular plan or method in mind.

  • Ask if they have a therapist and are taking medication.

  • Do not attempt to argue someone out of suicide. Rather, let the person know you care, that he/she is not alone, that suicidal feelings are temporary and that depression can be treated. Avoid the temptation to say, “You have so much to live for,” or “Your suicide will hurt your family.”

A hug can do so much for someone that's hurting

A hug can do so much for someone that's hurting

Seek Professional Help

  • Be actively involved in encouraging the person to see a physician or mental health professional immediately.

  • Individuals contemplating suicide often don’t believe they can be helped, so you may have to do more.

  • Help the person find a knowledgeable mental health professional or a reputable treatment facility, and take them to the treatment.

In an Acute Crisis

  • If a friend or loved one is threatening, talking about or making plans for suicide, these are signs of an acute crisis.

  • Do not leave the person alone.

  • Remove from the vicinity any firearms, drugs or sharp objects that could be used for suicide.

  • Take the person to an emergency room or walk-in clinic at a psychiatric hospital.

  • If a psychiatric facility is unavailable, go to your nearest hospital or clinic.

  • If the above options are unavailable, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Follow-up on Treatment

  • Suicidal individuals are often hesitant to seek help and may need your continuing support to pursue treatment after an initial contact.

  • If medication is prescribed, make sure your friend or loved one is taking it exactly as prescribed. Be aware of possible side effects and be sure to notify the physician if the person seems to be getting worse. Usually, alternative medications can be prescribed.

  • Frequently the first medication doesn’t work. It takes time and persistence to find the right medication(s) and therapist for the individual person.

For more information, visit http://www.afsp.org


Global Village Champions Foundation: Twitter Top Five Supporters

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Global Village Champions Foundation: Twitter TopFive Supporters

(Thank you Jackie Bigford)

Depression is in the PAST for former New York Jets player Ray Lucas

New York Jets logo

Image via Wikipedia

“Ray Lucas no longer wants to jump off the George Washington Bridge.”~ Michael O’Keeffe

Former Jets quarterback, Ray Lucas, used to stay in bed on a regular basis, isolating himself from the world due to his injuries on the field, which ultimately  resulted  in neck surgery on September 15th. Since then,  Lucas has claimed to feel incredible relief from  severe depression and anxiety, which previously caused him to  isolate  from family and loved ones.

PAST (Retired Athletes Medical Resources Group), an organization which  has provided more than $1.7 million in pro bono surgeries for NFL retirees in the past year, resourced the necessary neck surgery for Lucas, resulting in a dramatic loss of pain. Although the pain from his injuries, including symptoms such as crippling sciatica and muscle spasms have  not completely disappeared, Lucas claims that the surgery provided to him have literally saved his life.

“I still have bad days but nothing compared to what it was,” Lucas says. “My wife says PAST saved our family. I used to think about driving the car off the George Washington Bridge. Now I have hope.”

This story has a happy ending, as Ray Lucas is scheduled to host as the master of ceremonies for PAST’s fundraising event dedicated to Vince Lombardi on October, 28th. Joining him will be an  impressive array of stars including,  Darrelle Revis,  Don Maynard, Harry Carson, Charles Smith, Cal Ramsey,  Tony Sirico and Vincent Pastore.

“Many of the retired players who have received assistance through PAST say fan emails and Facebook posts were crucial to their recovery. To thank the fans for their support, PAST is offering free tickets to Thursday’s private performance of “Lombardi” to the first 50 people who register at PASTUSA.com

For further information on PAST’s Lombardi Night NYC, or to purchase tickets and VIP packages, go to the website or call 800-791-6324.”

AFSP’s “Out of the Darkness Walks”

I’ll be joining the Peekskill Rotary’s 40th Annual Horse show on behalf of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s chapter of Westchester.  They’ll be promoting their 7th annual “out of the Darkness Walk” at Croton Point Park on October 3rd. If anyone is interested in attending or learning more about the Westchester chapter, you can find information here:AFSP Westchester

AFSP also has a site that will bring you to walks and events all over the country. These walks help to promote advocacy in suicide prevention and awareness. By participating, we are helping to save lives. Wether you have lost a loved one to suicide, have considered it yourself, or want to help AFSP in their quest to help others, this is a wonderful activity to participate in. For more information or to find a walk in your community: Out of the Darkness

Update from our Facebook Cause Page

Our cause page on Facebook, Healing and Help for Mental Health, has a few new updates from members trying to gain support and spread the word for their causes.

For instance, there’s a petition for people to sign, “Lime-light” for Mental Health Awareness, to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and promote well-being. Also recently posted is a link to a cause named, “Living with Schizophrenia.”

I hope you stop by and visit to learn more about these wonderful organizations and support them in their efforts to help others.

Here is the link, Healing and Help for Mental Health if you would like to view them. Wishing you all a healthy day.

Donate to the Cause

Thank you for visiting our site. We are trying to raise the funds to make One to Six / Healing & Hope for Mental Health an official non-profit organization. If you would like to give to our cause, simply click on the donation tracker or Donate here.  With your help, we will be able to reach our goal. We greatly appreciate the support!

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