Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

At Mental Health America of Vigo County we believe that suicide is preventable and that suicide prevention works. We use the public health model along with media campaigns and education to raise suicide risk awareness. Our educational approach focuses on dispelling the myths about suicide and providing tools for successful suicide prevention..

Need help NOW? Call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Is Someone You Know Thinking About Suicide? Know What to Do.

Stigma associated with mental illnesses can prevent people from getting help. Your willingness to talk about mental or emotional issues and suicide with a friend, family member, or co-worker can be the first step in getting them help and preventing suicide.

A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or mental health professional. In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Warning Signs of Suicide

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  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated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
A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or mental health professional.
In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Additional Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Preoccupation with death
  • Suddenly happier, calmer
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions

How to Talk About Suicide

Suicidal thoughts are common with some mental illnesses and your willingness to talk about it in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational way can help a person to seek professional help.

It’s okay to ask questions like:

  • “Do you ever feel so badly that you think about suicide?”
  • “Do you have a plan to commit suicide or take your life?”
  • “Have you thought about when you would do it (today, tomorrow, next week)?”
  • “Have you thought about what method you would use?”

Asking these questions will help you to determine if your friend or family member is in immediate danger, and get help if needed. A suicidal person should see a doctor or mental health professional immediately. Calling 911 or going to a hospital emergency room are also good options to prevent a tragic suicide attempt or death. Always take thoughts or plans for suicide seriously.

If you feel the person isn’t in immediate danger, acknowledge that the pain is legitimate and offer to work together to get help. Make sure you follow through. Help find a doctor or a mental health professional, participate in making the first phone call, or go along to the first appointment. Don’t assume that your persistence is unwanted or intrusive. Risking your feelings to help save a life is a risk worth taking.

In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

What Not to Do

Never keep a plan for suicide a secret. Don’t worry about risking a friendship if you truly feel a life is in danger. It is better to lose a relationship from violating a confidence than it is to go to a funeral. And most of the time they will come back and thank you for saving their life.

Don’t try to minimize problems or shame a person into changing their mind. Your opinion of a person’s situation is irrelevant. Trying to convince a person suffering with a mental illness that it’s not that bad, or that they have everything to live for may only increase their feelings of guilt and hopelessness. Reassure them that help is available, that what they are experiencing is treatable, and that suicidal feelings are temporary. Life can get better!

In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Vigo County Suicide Prevention Coalition

“Suicide is a permanent response to problems that have other solutions. It is hard to see alternatives when you are in a crisis, but they do exist.”

According to, 256 people died by suicide in Vigo County from 2003 to 2005.

Death by suicide ends one life and affects many others. On average, no less than six individuals will be left trying to understand the event and the reasoning behind it. That means hundreds, if not thousands of Vigo County residents, have suffered in one way or another because of suicide.

Four of every five victims give warning signs of their intent to die, but often, those signs are misunderstood, not recognized or just not acted upon by those close to the person–family members, peers, counselors or school officials.

The Vigo County Suicide Prevention Coalition works in the community to provide resources and information to those seeking help. We believe that public awareness of the signs of suicidal situations, behaviors, and populations at particular risk, along with professional intervention are the keys to ongoing prevention.

In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Question Persuade Refer (QPR)

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer–three simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.

Our specially trained staff teaches the QPR method in our Gatekeeper course. Get the skills you need to save the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, or neighbor by learning QPR.

In the Gatekeeper course you will learn to:

  • recognize the warning signs of suicide
  • know how to offer hope
  • know how to get help and save a life
For more information, call us at (812) 232-5681.