Q: How do I know if I'm at risk for suicide?
A: Suicide is a choice made by those who experience intense, emotional pain. Some of the signs are: “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 trapped, hopeless or like a burden to others; increasing the use of alcohol or drugs, acting anxious, agitated or reckless, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawing or feeling isolated.”
Q: Can suicide be predicted?
A: No. “We can identify those individuals with highest risk for potential suicide, but we can’t identify those who will commit suicide in the near future. In part, this is because the duration between the suicidal thought and attempt is usually only about 10 minutes.”
Q: How can I manage suicidal thoughts?
A: Tell a trusted family member, friend, or other support person. Get help from a health care professional or counselor and stay in contact, promise yourself you will hold on for another day, hour, minute or whatever you can manage, develop a list of trusted friends you can contact for support, make a Plan for Life and give a copy of it to family and friends before it's needed, write down your thoughts and remind yourself why your own life is important, connect with others socially, keep yourself safe and remember that feelings are not facts and suicidal feelings are not your fault.
Q: If I commit suicide will I go to Hell?
A: The Bible is clear that we go to heaven or hell based on our relationship to Jesus Christ. Yes, suicide raises many spiritual and psychological questions, but one thing is certain: 'God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it (Ephesians 2:8-9). We obtain heaven only by our belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior. And we go to hell only by our rejection of Jesus Christ as our Savior (Hebrews 6:4-6).'
Q: Am I the only one who feels this way?
A: No. “Every 40 seconds someone in the world takes their own life, a global tally of more than 800,000 suicides a year, according to a landmark United Nations report on the subject.” If you have lost someone to suicide or have had thoughts of suicide, you are not alone. There is help.
Q: Does everyone who commits suicide suffer from mental illness?
A: No. “At least 90 percent of all people who died by suicide were suffering from a mental illness at the time, most often depression. Among people who are depressed, intense emotional states such as desperation, hopelessness, anxiety, or rage increase the risk of suicide.”
Q: Where can I find help?
A: Start with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK. They can refer you to local help. Additionally, ask a local church for referrals to counselors, talk to your own health care provider, walk into an Urgent Care facility and ask for assistance, or call a friend and ask them to help you find a professional who can help.
Q: I have a friend who is suicidal. How can I help?
A: You have probably had times of suffering, discouragement, and despair. So you can empathize at some level with what your friend is going through. Listen very carefully to what your friend says. Don' think that not talking about it will put it out of his mind. Take his or her despair seriously and express kindness and comfort. Don' t leave your friend alone if he has indicated specific plans for suicide. Don't promise to keep his struggle a secret and bring him to the right people for help.
Job 14:15 A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.
Revelation 9:6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Psalm 34:17-20 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Isaiah 43:18-19 Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Psalm 118:17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.
Psalm 139:7-10 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Boys Town National Hotline 1-800-448-3000