The fight against suicide and depression is not one you have to wage alone. Click below to find resources throughout Idaho and the Magic Valley.
Getting help for a loved one
Depression can come in short bursts or long stretches. It can also show itself through a wide variety of symptoms, so how do you know if your loved one's depression may be developing into suicidal risk? The Suicide Prevention Hotline recommends watching for common warnings that may signal your loved one is considering suicide. If these behaviors are new, are increasing, or are related to a recent traumatic event it is especially important to seek professional help immediately.
Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
Talking about being a burden to others
Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
Sleeping too little or too much
Withdrawing or isolating themselves
Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
Extreme mood swings
These warning signs cannot predict suicidal behavior, however if your loved one is experiencing one or more of these behaviors it's important to get help immediately. You can start by calling the free 24 hour helpline: 1-800-273-8255
What you can do
1- Let them know you've noticed and you are worried.
Give them a chance to tell you what they are going through. Stay engaged and listen while they confide in you. Don't be discouraged if they find it hard to discuss. Depression and mental illness can be difficult topics to open up about.
2- Ask them if they are thinking about suicide.
Be direct. Studies have shown that asking about suicide will not encourage anyone toward the act, but may help prevent it. Asking shows that you care and gives them a chance to tell someone what they are going through.
Questions you can ask:
Have you thought about suicide?
Do you have a plan?
How are you coping?
3- Keep them safe.
Stay with them until you know they aren't going to harm themselves. If they threaten to harm someone else or you feel like you might be in danger call 911 immediately and seek shelter. If they are threatening to harm themselves make sure they have someone with them at all times and do not have access to anything they could use to harm themselves until you can get professional help.
If your loved one has a plan to commit suicide it is important to get them help right away. You can start by calling the free 24 hour lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. You can also reach out to your medical provider, or the local crisis center for assistance.