Crisis Support

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Crisis Text Line

Text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

NAMI HelpLine

Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) M–F, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. PT for free mental health info, referrals and support.

Find a Local NAMI


75% of all people who die by suicide are male.

Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are nearly 4x more likely to die by suicide.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34 and the fourth leading cause of death for people 35-54

The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 31% since 2001

46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition

While half of individuals who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental health condition, research shows that 90% experienced symptoms.

In 2017, suicide was:

– the second leading cause of death for American Indian/Alaska Natives between the ages of 10-34.

– the second leading cause of death for African Americans, ages 15-24.

– the leading cause of death for Asian Americans, ages 15-24.

– the second leading cause of death for Hispanic people in the U.S., ages 15-34.

American Indian/Alaska Native adults die by suicide at a rate 20% higher than non-Hispanic white adults.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth.

Transgender people are 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.

10% of young adults say they experienced suicidal thoughts in the past year.   (Facts via NAMI)

Warning Signs

  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and community
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior
  • Suicidal behaviors are a psychiatric emergency. If you or a loved one starts to take any of these steps, seek immediate help from a health care provider or call 911:
  • Collecting and saving pills or buying a weapon
  • Giving away possessions
  • Tying up loose ends, like organizing personal papers or paying off debts
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family

If you are unsure, a licensed mental health professional can help assess.

Risk Factors

Research has found that 46% of people who die by suicide had a known mental health condition. Several other things may put a person at risk of suicide, including:

  • A family history of suicide
  • Substance abuse. Drugs can create mental highs and lows that worsen suicidal thoughts.
  • Intoxication. More than 1 in 3 people who die from suicide are under the influence of alcohol at the time of death.
  • Access to firearms
  • A serious or chronic medical illness
  • Gender. Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are nearly 4 times more likely to die by suicide.
  • A history of trauma or abuse
  • Prolonged stress
  • A recent tragedy or loss

Support in a Crisis

When a suicide-related crisis occurs, friends and family are often caught off-guard, unprepared and unsure of what to do. The behaviors of a person experiencing a crisis can be unpredictable, changing dramatically without warning.

There are a few ways to approach a suicide-crisis:

  • Talk openly and honestly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like: “Do you have a plan for how you would kill yourself?”
  • Remove means such as guns, knives or stockpiled pills
  • Calmly ask simple and direct questions, like “Can I help you call your psychiatrist?”
  • If there are multiple people around, have one person speak at a time
  • Express support and concern
  • Don’t argue, threaten or raise your voice
  • Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong
  • If you’re nervous, try not to fidget or pace
  • Be patient

Getting Help for a Crisis

  • If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.
  • Crisis Text Line send “NAMI” to 741741
  • The Trevor Project Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386

More Sources for Help

Guide to navigating a mental health crisis

How to Ask Someone About Suicide (NAMI blog post)

Supporting Youth Mental Health (NAMI blog post)

Be the One to Help Save a Life (CDC)

Find your local NAMI California affiliate to find out about our free support groups, classes, and education programs

More from NAMI

Share Your Insights and Stories

We can help others by sharing our experiences and stories.

Community Voices: Suicide Prevention

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