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Suicide Prevention>

Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is wanting to die

call 911 immediately.

Help is available at: (231) 722-HELP
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)



Ask the person if they are considering suicide.

If they say yes, ask the following:

"Do you have a plan?"

"Is the means for the plan readily available?"

"Is the method a lethal one?"

"When do you plan to do this?"

If the person has imminent plans, take them to the emergency room or call 911.

Never leave them alone!






Direct Statements:
"I'm going to kill myself."
"I don't want to live anymore."
"I want to die."

Indirect Statements:
"I want to go to sleep and never wake up."
"You'll be sorry when I'm gone."
"It will all be over soon."



  1. Feelings of hopelessness
  2. Lack of planning for the future
  3. Sudden and/or prolonged change in appetite
  4. Prolonged change in sleep patterns (insomnia/excessive sleeping)
  5. Unusual neglect of personal appearance or hygiene
  6. Withdrawal and isolation from friends and family
  7. Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  8. Decreased sexual activity
  9. Difficulty concentrating
  10. Persistent feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, or sadness
  11. Preoccupation with themes of death
  12. Irritability; abrupt outbursts of anger or rage; seeking revenge
  13. Frequent physical complaints, often headaches, stomach ailments, fatigue/drowsiness
  14. Talking of feeling trapped
  15. Increased substance use/abuse
  16. Giving away treasured possessions
  17. Increased risk taking (reckless driving)
  18. Making final arrangements (wills), checking insurance policies


* Previous suicide attempts

* Alcohol or other substance abuse

* Mental illness, particularly depressive disorder

* Poor coping skills or impulsive behavior

* Previous suicide in family


Health, particularly onset of Economic (gambling debt,

progressive illness foreclosure)

Job or financial security Scholastic

Death of a loved one Interpersonal

Relationship, through divorce or Parental


An impending crisis (legal case,


Shame or embarrassment


Gay males and lesbians, especially youth.


Native Americans.

Prisoners, especially first-time offenders.

NOTE: there is no causative factor in suicide. All hints must be taken seriously. It is important to be aware that a combination of distress signals manifested over a period of time bears watching. The presence of and willingness to use a lethal methodology is a major factor. The availability of a firearm is a key factor, especially with males.




Males complete suicide at a rate 3 to 4 times that of females.

Females make 3 to 4 times more attempts than males.


Adults over age 65 have a suicide rate 50% higher than the nation as a whole.

Young people (ages 15-24) have the highest rates of attempts.

Marital Status:

Suicide rates are highest among the widowed or divorced.

Suicide rates are lowest among the married.


Suicide Myths and Facts

People who commit suicide always leave notes.
Most people don’t leave notes. Only a small percentage leave any type of explanation about why they’ve chosen to take their lives.

People who commit suicide do not warn others.
Out of 10 people who kill themselves, eight have given definite clues to their intentions. They leave numerous clues and warnings to others, although some of their clues may be non-verbal and difficult to detect.

People who talk about suicide are only trying to get attention, they won’t really do it.
WRONG! Few people complete suicide without first letting someone else know how they feel. Those who are considering suicide give clues and warnings as a cry for help. In fact, most seek out someone to rescue them. Over 70% who do threaten to complete suicide either make an attempt or complete the act.

Once someone has already decided to complete suicide, nothing is going to stop them. Suicidal people clearly want to die.
Most of the time, a suicidal person is ambivalent about the decision; they are torn between wanting to die and wanting to live. Most suicidal individuals don’t want death; they just want the pain of living to stop. Some people, seeing evidence of two conflicting feelings in the individual may interpret the action as insincerity, saying, “:he really doesn’t want to do it.” People’s ability to help is hindered if they don’t understand the common suicidal characteristic of ambivalence.

Once the emotional state improves, the risk of suicide is over.
The highest rates of suicide occur within about three months of an apparent improvement in a severely depressed state. Therefore, an improvement in emotional state does not mean a lessened risk.

After a person has attempted suicide, it is unlikely they will try it again.

People who have attempted suicide are very likely to try again. In fact, 80% of people who complete suicide have made at least one previous attempt.

Don’t mention suicide to someone who’s showing signs of severe depression. It will plant the idea in their minds and they will act on it.
Many depressed people have already considered suicide as an option. Discussing it openly helps the suicidal person sort through the problems and generally provides a sense of relief and understanding. It is one of the most helpful things you can do.

Drug overdoses account for the majority of suicides.
The number one method of suicide is firearms, with about 12,000 per year. Easy access to guns with a high potential for death makes this a deadly combination for those attempting suicide.

Most suicides take place during the winter and/or holiday season.
Most suicides actually take place in spring and summer, with July and August being the most risky. Although depression can be most severe in the winter, people in this group often cannot summon the energy necessary to put together a plan and actually implement the suicide. Once the depression begins to lift, and when people around them are most optimistic about spring, they will begin planning to take their lives. Research has shown that as fall approaches, many people with depression cannot bear the expected onset of another depressive episode.



American Association of Suicidology

Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Michigan (AMI)

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Depression Screening

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)

National Mental Health Association

National Institute of Mental Health

Substance Abuse

Dual Diagnosis Recovery Network (DDRN)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration




Links to other sites or to documents located on other sites are provided solely as a convenience. Community Mental Health Services (CMHS) of Muskegon County has selected these resources as having some value and relevance, but their development and maintenance are not under CMHS of Muskegon County's control. Therefore, CMHS of Muskegon County is not responsible for the content, accuracy, opinions expressed, and other links provided by these resources.





Community Mental Health Services of Muskegon County
376 E. Apple Ave.
Muskegon, Ml 49442
(231) 724-1111
TTY (231) 720-3280
Hours of Administration: M-F 8-5pm (Closed Holidays)
Julia Rupp, Executive Director

Emergency Helpline: (231) 722-HELP (4357)