Take the Nine out of Ten pledge:
*Learn about the warning signs of suicide and resources that can help
*Look out for others and pay attention to signs that someone may be struggling
*Connect others to professionals who can help
*Ask for help for yourself when you need it
*Challenge stigma, pay attention to how you talk about mental health and suicide, and educate others when you hear inappropriate jokes or problematic language
*Talk about why suicide prevention is important to you
How can I help my friend?
- Ask direct questions. Are you thinking about suicide? Are you thinking of killing yourself? If you can’t ask the question, find someone who can.
- Stay by their side. Never leave someone alone who is showing suicidal warning signs.
- Call a professional. Remember, your job is to try to get someone to the help they need, not be the help they need.
- Don’t keep secrets about suicide. Telling someone that you’re worried about a friend can be hard to do, especially if your friend has asked you not to tell. Saving a life is more important than keeping a secret out of fear of losing a friendship.
Noticing, speaking up, and being authentic and connected in your friendships may be the first and most important step in saving a life. If you’re worried about a friend, consider taking the first step yourself by walking them to counseling and helping them find the support they need. Always be present and supportive, listen diligently, and be a shoulder they can lean on. Reach out and stay connected. Even a simple text or phone call can go a long way.
If you can’t reach out personally, there are an abundance of resources and professionals you can turn to that can provide assistance. Reach out to someone, whether they are a trusted family member, teacher, or mental health professional. Visit our Resources page for more information.
You are not alone!
If you feel you or your friend needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (or 911 if immediate assistance is needed).
If in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to call. They will listen.
Get involved in suicide prevention
There are many ways that you can get involved in raising awareness about mental health, mental illness, and suicide prevention.
- Become a trained suicide gatekeeper. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) training teaches anyone how to ask someone if they are thinking about suicide, how to persuade someone to get help, and where to refer them to get the help they need. Learn more at qprinstitute.com.
- Walk. Organizations like American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) hold regular suicide prevention walks around the country. Find out when one will be near you and get a team together.
- Join Active Minds. Active Minds is changing the conversation about mental health on college campuses. Consider joining or starting a chapter on your campus.
- Volunteer. There are so many organizations out there doing great things for suicide prevention that rely heavily on volunteers to make their efforts successful. Reach out and ask how you can help.