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Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, counselors are available 24/7 to listen and support you at 988.

If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of hurting themselves and you are unable to intervene, or in immediate danger because of a health condition or other situation, call 911.

Suicide is preventable.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, tell someone and seek mental health support. Reach out to someone you trust. Talk to a friend, family member or counselor. Tell them how you are feeling. The first step to getting help is to let someone know how you are struggling.

If you have had thoughts of suicide, it might help to create or update a suicide safety plan. This plan will provide you with a list of steps you can follow to feel safe if you think about harming yourself. If you do not have a suicide safety plan, you can use this Safety Plan Template (PDF) as a guide.

Warning Signs

You can help prevent suicide by learning the warning signs. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new, has increased, and seems related to a painful event, loss or change.

The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped, a burden or in unbearable pain.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious, agitated or behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.
  • Giving away possessions.
  • Saying goodbye to family and friends.

Warning signs can be different for each person. Speaking about mental health challenges and thoughts of suicide may be less common and less accepted in some communities.

How to Support Others

If someone you know is having thoughts of suicide you should:

  • Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
  • Ask if they are having thoughts of suicide. This will not push the person to attempt suicide. You can ask:
    • Are you thinking about ending your life?
    • Do you have a plan for how and when you want to end your life?
    • In the past three months have you taken any steps toward ending your life?
  • Listen to their story without judgement. Allow expression of feelings. Show interest, be supportive and let them know you care.
  • If you are not sure what to do, contact NYC 988 and a counselor will guide you.
  • Call 911 if they are in immediate danger and you are unable to intervene. A person is in immediate danger if they have a plan to attempt suicide, have access to a lethal method and want to attempt suicide soon.

Learn more about how to help a friend or family member in crisis.


988 has a staff of trained counselors and people who have experienced mental health crises in the past. You can talk about how you feel, get brief counseling, suicide prevention, crisis intervention, peer support, referrals to care, assistance in connecting to the referral and follow-up services.

988 is free and confidential. It operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Resources for Providers

Youth Suicide Prevention Webinar Series

Additional Resources

More Information