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Why Do People End their Lives? 

Suicide is the act of intentionally taking one’s own life. Most often people who die by suicide are suffering from intense psychological pain. There is no one cause of suicide, no one cause of psychological pain, and thus, no easy answer to “why.” Decades of research has given us much information about suicide and about preventing suicide loss.


Keep in mind that people who are at risk of suicide don't "look" any certain way. The class clown that nobody suspects of needing help could be at risk, and it could also be the kid who gets straight A’s in school, and it could be the high achiever at work, and it could be the retiree who seems to have everything. Know the warning signs:


Suicide Warning Signs (Adapted from: Nami New-Hampshire)


Behavioral—Cause for Immediate Action

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself

  • Looking for ways to die 

  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide


Verbal—Direct Statements of Suicidal Intent - Cause for Immediate Action:

  • “I’m going to end it all.”

  • “I wish I were dead.”

  • “I’ve decided to kill myself.”

  • “I’m going to be with (person who has died) soon.”


Less Direct Statements of Suicidal Intent - Cause for Immediate Action

  • “Everyone would be better off without me.”

  • “Pretty soon you won’t have to worry about me.”

  • “Who cares if I am dead anyway?”

  • “It isn’t worth it anymore.”

  • "I just...can't."


Immediate Action

  • Ask directly: Are you thinking of killing yourself?

  • Let the person know you care.

  • Keep the person away from anything that may cause harm such as guns, pills, ropes, knives, vehicles

  • Stay with the person and get professional help.

  • Offer hope – I’m here and I will help you get help

  • Do not leave the person alone, not even for a minute—keep the person in sight

  • Do not leave the person alone, not even for a minute—not even to go to the bathroom!

  • In an emergency, call 9-1-1


Warning Signs for SuicideCause for Concern

  • Feeling hopeless; trapped, like there’s no way out

  • Feeling rage or uncontrollable anger or seeking revenge

  • Dramatic mood changes

  • Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life

  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities—seemingly without thinking

  • Increasing alcohol or drug use

  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society

  • Feeling anxious or agitated; being unable to sleep, or sleeping all the time

  • Sudden improvement in mood after being down or withdrawn

  • Giving away favorite possessions; making final arrangements

Prevention Efforts in Jefferson County  The Prevention Coalition believes that community-wide suicide prevention is most effective. BestCare’s Prevention Team selected a nationally designated best practice program, The Connect Program, to teach community members how to prevent suicide as a community. We brought expert trainers to Jefferson County to train the prevention team and members of the community in Suicide Prevention, Youth Leader, and Suicide Postvention. This approach ensures that knowledge and expertise stay within our own community, and that prevention efforts are sustainable.


Suicide Prevention Trainers — Certified trainers are ready to provide suicide prevention training to community groups, businesses, faith-based partners, youth-serving agencies and interested community members.


Youth Leaders — We know that youth will most often seek help from their peers. Utilizing an age- and culturally-appropriate curriculum which was carefully reviewed to follow recognized prevention (safe messaging) practices, Jefferson County Youth Leaders were provided the tools to recognize other youth who may be at risk for suicide and the skills to effectively respond if they are concerned about a person who may be at risk for suicide.


Postvention Trainers — Effective suicide prevention is a three-legged stool which includes Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention. Postvention includes response after a suicide loss,  which reduces risk and promotes healing.





















Resources for Help
Suicide Prevention

If you’re worried about yourself or someone else, and you are wondering if you should get help…

The answer is YES!

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