Emergency Mental Health Helplines
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or Chat with Lifeline or Text HOPELINE to 741741
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.
Suicide Prevention Resources
Resources by Organization
- UW Health Suicide Prevention Resources
- Center for Suicide Awareness
- Prevent Suicide Wisconsin
- The Trevor Project
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- AACAP Suicide Prevention
- Child Mind Institute Suicide Prevention
- NIMH Suicide Prevention
- American Psychiatric Association
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- The Youth Alliance
- DPI - Youth Suicide Prevention
Helpful Articles and Resources
- What to do if You're Concerned About Your Teen's Mental Health - JED Foundation
- Talking about Suicide and LGBTQ Populations - Trevor Project
- How to Talk to a Child about Suicide Attempt in Your Family - US Dept. Veterans Affairs
- 10 Things Parents Can Do to Help Prevent Suicide - American Academy of Pediatrics
- Bullying Prevention Resources - National Association of School Psychologists
- Navigating a Mental Health Crisis - NAMI
- Suicide and Self Harm Articles & Resources - Child Mind Institute
Behavioral Health Access Line
To request a new patient appointment, call (608) 233-3575.
Clinics and Services
Click here to learn more about our clinics and services.
Signs and Symptoms
The behaviors listed below may be signs that someone is thinking about suicide.
- Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
- Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
- Making a plan or looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching for lethal methods online, stockpiling pills, or buying a gun
- Talking about great guilt or shame
- Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
- Feeling unbearable pain (emotional pain or physical pain)
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Using alcohol or drugs more often
- Acting anxious or agitated
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
- Talking or thinking about death often
- Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
- Giving away important possessions
- Saying goodbye to friends and family
- Putting affairs in order, making a will
If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, particularly if the behavior is new or has increased recently.
The above information is from NIMH’s Suicide Prevention website.
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.
Click here to learn more about How and Why the 5 Steps Can Help
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.
This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Text HOPELINE to 741-741
LGBTQ+ Lifeline (The Trevor Project)
Text START to 678-678
Dane County Crisis Helpline
Text HOPELINE to 741-741
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Call: 1-800-950-6264 (Monday-Friday 10am-6pm)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
National Center for Posttraumatic Stress
Abuse and Sexual Assault
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Call: 1-800-656-4673 (24/7 hotline)
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
Sexually Transmitted Infections
CDC National AIDS/Sexually Transmitted Disease
Substance Abuse Support
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline
Al-Anon and AlaTeen
National Runaway Safeline
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
Call: 1-630-577-1330 (Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday 9am-5pm, Sunday 5pm-9pm)
National Eating Disorders Association Information and Referral Helpline
Call: 1-800-931-2237 (Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday 11am-5pm)
Text: 1-800-931-2237 (Monday-Thursday 3pm-6pm)
National Center for Victims of Crime
Text: TEEN to 839863
Disaster Distress Helpline
Call: 1-800-985-5990 (24/7 hotline)
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center