When people end their lives by suicide, the effects ripple outward to family, friends, coworkers, and communities. Rates of suicide have risen sharply across the United States in recent years.26 Here in Arizona, suicide has become the eighth-leading cause of death for males and 11th for females,27 and we’re 17th in the U.S. among states with the highest suicide rate.28 Our goal is to stem the rate so that fewer Arizonans become part of these statistics.

Help in many forms is available to individuals considering suicide. Life-saving hope may be one phone call away.

About suicide

When people die as a result of their own deliberate action, it’s considered suicide. “Suicidal ideation” is when a person thinks about, considers, or plans suicide. Suicide often happens when stressors in someone’s life become so intense that they seem unmanageable, unsolvable, and unsurvivable. Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and psychosis often play a role in suicide.

When you're in crisis: how to get help right now

If you are having suicidal thoughts, there are people who are ready to listen to you. Sometimes it might feel best to speak to someone you know well. At other times, maybe a perfect stranger will know just what to say and do. You might be surprised by how many people can relate to how you're feeling. Someone who understands is as close as your phone or keyboard. There are empathetic people ready to listen — including members of the LGBTQ, Native American, Spanish-speaking, veteran, student, and youth communities. Whatever your situation, consider reaching out to somebody who may have been through a similar struggle.

Crisis support
resources

Crisis support
resources

Crisis support
resources

Helping someone else in crisis

Taking fast action is key when you’re worried that someone may be at risk of suicide, or if someone tells you they are considering suicide. The approach is slightly different for each situation.

 

When someone you care about has ended their life

In the wake of a loved one’s death by suicide, you might feel a complex mix of emotions. Grief, anger, shock, denial, and even guilt can come in waves. Remember–there are ways to cope with these intense feelings.
  • Talk about what you’re going through, especially with others who knew the person who died.
  • Consider getting help from a professional who specializes in grief or trauma counseling.
  • Find a support group in your area that caters to friends and families affected by suicide.
  • Give yourself whatever time it takes to move through your grief process.
  • Don’t blame yourself for another person’s choices.
  • Be prepared for a resurgence of emotions on anniversaries, holidays, and other special occasions that might remind you of your loved one’s absence.

Words matter

When you’re searching for words to explain your loved one’s death, use language that is clear and free of judgment. Avoid saying that the person “committed suicide,” as it implies a criminal or amoral act. Instead, you can say that your loved one "ended his/her life" or "died by suicide." It’s up to you to decide how much detail to share with others about how the person died. However, don’t feel you have to cover up the fact that suicide was the cause of death. Being honest will give the people around you the information they’ll need to support you through your grief.

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