Emergency Mental Health Helplines
The Trevor Project Lifeline (LGBTQ+): 1-866-488-7386
Crisis Textline: Text HOME to 741741
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or Text TalkWithUs to 66746
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 or Text 838255
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) of Dane County: 1-608-251-4445 or 800-747-4045
Rape Crisis Center of Dane County: 1-608-251-7273 (Línea de Ayuda: 608-258-2567)
All of the above helplines are free and available 24/7.
How You Can Help
Five Steps You Can Take to Help:
- ASK: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question, but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts.
- KEEP THEM SAFE: Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means can make a difference.
- BE THERE: Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Research suggests acknowledging and talking about suicide may reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.
- HELP THEM CONNECT: Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) and the Crisis Text Line’s number (741741) in your phone, so it’s there when you need it. You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.
- STAY CONNECTED: Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.
Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk. Suicidal behavior is complex, and there is no single cause. Many different factors contribute to someone making a suicide attempt. But people most at risk tend to share specific characteristics. The main risk factors for suicide are:
- Depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorder
- Certain medical conditions
- Chronic pain
- A prior suicide attempt
- Family history of a mental disorder or substance abuse
- Family history of suicide
- Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
- Having guns or other firearms in the home
- Having recently been released from prison or jail
- Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or celebrities
Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. It is important to note that suicide is not a normal response to stress. Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention, and should not be ignored.
Often, family and friends are the first to recognize the warning signs of suicide and can be the first step toward helping an at-risk individual find treatment with someone who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. Suicide is complex. Treatments and therapies for people with suicidal thoughts or actions will vary with age, gender, physical and mental well-being, and individual experiences.
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Abuse and Sexual Assault
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Substance Abuse Support
Call: 1-630-577-1330 (Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday 9am-5pm, Sunday 5pm-9pm)
Call: 1-800-931-2237 (Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday 11am-5pm)
Text: 1-800-931-2237 (Monday-Thursday 3pm-6pm)