September is Suicide Prevention Month. Of course, we all need to be aware all year round of those who may be struggling. If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-injury, please get help now. In the United States, call 988 or go to 988lifeline.org. Additional links to other helplines are included at the end of this article.
Below is a summary of talks and videos by survivors, by family members, and by Church leaders that address suicide. They can all be found on the church website at: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/life-help/suicide?lang=eng.
The Church website includes the following:
- Doctrine and Principles
- Doctrine and Principles
- Preventing Suicide and Responding after a Loss
- How to Help
- Warning Signs of Suicide
- How to Help Someone in Crisis: Ask, Care, Tell
- How to Respond after a Suicide
- I Still Have Questions, Where Can I Find Answers
- Loss Survivors
- How can I work through my pain after a suicide?
- Could I have done more to prevent my child’s suicide?
- How do I tell others what happened?
- Are there any restrictions on funeral or burial services for someone who died by suicide?
- Have other Church members lost a loved one by suicide?
- Attempt Survivors
- Why should I keep struggling when life is so challenging?
- Can I ever get back to normal after a suicide attempt?
- Am I worthy to take the sacrament or go to the temple?
- Are there other suicide attempt survivors in the Church?
- Thoughts of Suicide
- I’m worried I might hurt myself. How can I stay safe?
- I just want my pain to end. Why can’t I be healed?
- Do I really need to tell someone I’m thinking about suicide?
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will talking about suicide make someone more likely to attempt suicide?
Talking about suicide will not make someone more likely to attempt suicide. In fact, talking openly about suicide is an effective way to help prevent suicide. Asking a person directly if they are thinking about suicide gives them an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings without worrying that they will be judged.
- What should I do if someone tells me they are thinking about suicide?
Never promise to keep someone’s thoughts of suicide secret. If they ask you not to tell anyone, explain that you will respect their privacy as much as possible but they need more help than you can give.
- How do I start a conversation with someone I’m worried about?
Tell your friend that you genuinely care about them. Explain what you’ve observed recently, such as, “You seem so unhappy lately.” Give them time to explain how they are feeling.
- How can I support someone who has survived a suicide attempt?
Feeling loved and included can give attempt survivors hope for the future and may help them avoid another suicide attempt. It is their story. Allow them to disclose their challenges in their own time and to the people they choose.
- How can I support someone who has lost a loved one by suicide?
Understand that the grieving process takes time. The best care we can provide is to help someone experience the blessings of Heavenly Father’s love and the Savior’s mercy and grace. When an individual or family has lost a loved one by suicide, prayerfully observe their needs and try to support them.
- How do I hold a discussion about suicide in my ward or family?
The purpose of any discussion about suicide should be to help leaders and members minister more effectively to those who have been affected by suicide. Be careful when holding a discussion to avoid language that could cause someone to relive intense pain.
In Crisis? Talk Now.
The help lines listed below are free and are staffed by people who are trained to help. You do not have to be suicidal to call and talk. These resources are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church does not endorse any content that is not in keeping with its doctrines and teachings.
- Befrienders Worldwide (help lines around the world)
- Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (USA; English and Spanish), 988
- Crisis Text Line (USA), text HOME to 741741
- International Association for Suicide Prevention (online chat, text or phone support around the world).
- Native Youth Crisis Hotline (Native Americans in the USA), 1-877-209-1266
- Beyond Blue (Australia), 1300 22 4636
- Kids Helpline (Australia), 1800 55 1800
- Distress Centre (Canada), 403-266-HELP (4357)
- Kids Help Phone (Canada), 1-800-668-6868
- European Alliance Against Depression (help lines across Europe)
- Samaritans (United Kingdom and Ireland), 116 123