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Suicide

This guide offers information about suicide and suicide prevention. There are resources for those who are depressed, considering suicide, and survivors of suicide.

Suicide

Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Some suicides are impulsive acts due to stress, such as from financial difficulties, troubles with relationships, or bullying. Those who have previously attempted suicides are at a higher risk for future attempts Suicide has strong emotional repercussions for its survivors and for families of its victims. 

 

Additional Information

These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide.  Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as 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.
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

   SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)

Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk. Suicidal behavior is complex and there is no single cause. In fact, many different factors contribute to someone making a suicide attempt. But people most at risk tend to share certain characteristics. The main risk factors for suicide are:

  • Depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorder
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Chronic pain
  • A prior suicide attempt
  • Family history of a mental disorder or substance abuse
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • Having guns or other firearms in the home
  • Having recently been released from prison or jail
  • Being exposed to others' suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or celebrities

Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. It is important to note that suicide is not a normal response to stress. Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention, and should not be ignored.

National Institute of Mental Health

A suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. People who take their lives don’t want to die—they just want to stop hurting. Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously. If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, you might be afraid to bring up the subject. But talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.

Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable. Blinded by feelings of self-loathing, hopelessness, and isolation, a suicidal person can’t see any way of finding relief except through death. But despite their desire for the pain to stop, most suicidal people are deeply conflicted about ending their own lives. They wish there was an alternative to suicide, but they just can’t see one.

Common Myths

Myth: People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.

Fact: Almost everyone who attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Don’t ignore even indirect references to death or suicide. Statements like “You’ll be sorry when I’m gone,” “I can’t see any way out,”—no matter how casually or jokingly said—may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

Myth: Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy.

Fact: Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They are upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness.

Myth: If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop them.

Fact: 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.

Myth: People who die by suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.

Fact: Studies of suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help in the six months prior to their deaths.

Myth: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.

Fact: 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.

 

SAVE  (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Suicide Prevention Hotline in Spanish

1-800-273-TALK (press 2)

LGBT Youth Suicide Hotline

1-866-4-U-TREVOR

National Hopeline Network

1-800-SUICIDE

National Youth Crisis Hotline

1-800-442-HOPE (4673)

According to a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates for adults in the United States are on the rise; since 1999, suicide rates in 25 states increased by more than 30%. In the US, suicide accounted for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016.

Each person who dies by suicide leaves behind an estimated six or more “suicide survivors” — people who’ve lost someone they care about deeply and are left grieving and struggling to understand.

The grief process is always difficult. But a loss through suicide is like no other, and grieving can be especially complex and traumatic. People coping with this kind of loss often need more support than others, but may get less. Why? Survivors may be reluctant to confide that the death was self-inflicted. And when others know the circumstances of the death, they may feel uncertain about how to offer help.

The death of a loved one is never easy to experience, whether it comes without warning or after a long struggle with illness. But several circumstances set death by suicide apart and make the process of bereavement more challenging.

Suicide survivors are more likely than other bereaved people to seek the help of a mental health professional. Look for a skilled therapist who is experienced in working with grief after suicide. 

Harvard Health Publishing

Kearney

Central Nebraska L.O.S.S.

308-217-0359
 

 Lincoln

Survivors of Suicide

Ray of Hope
3330 M St.
Lincoln, NE 68510
Contact person: Gary & Jennifer Nelson
402-488-3827

Survivors of Suicide Support Group
Our Savior's Lutheran Church
40th & C Streets
Lincoln, NE
Contact:
Katrena 402-304-8985 or
Mary 402-483-2099
Meetings 1st and 3rd Mondays at 7:00 pm, east entrance - lower level
Peer facilitated, No fee

 

Omaha

Survivors of Suicide
S.O.S. Omaha
6114 Franklin St.
Omaha, NE 68104
Contact person: Fred Henninger
402- 558-4616

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