HelpLine endorses the public health approach to preventing depression and suicide. Our programs use a universal strategy that ensures every person, without regard to exposure to the problem, has access to improving their mental wellness, knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to these issues.
The suicide prevention program at HelpLine aims to raise awareness of suicide and its risk factors. By offering education and training, our program seeks to increase the number of community members who can respond to a person who needs help.
Signs of Depression and Suicide*
There’s no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase the risk of suicide. Yet it’s important to note that most people who actively manage their mental health conditions go on to engage in life.
- Access to mental health care, and being proactive about mental health
- Feeling connected to family and community support
- Problem-solving and coping skills
- Limited access to lethal means
- Cultural and religious beliefs that encourage connecting and help-seeking, discourage suicidal behavior, or create a strong sense of purpose or self-esteem
Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.
If a person talks about:
- Killing themselves
- Feeling hopeless
- Having no reason to live
- Being a burden to others
- Feeling trapped
- Unbearable pain
Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change:
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods
- Withdrawing from activities
- Isolating from family and friends
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
- Giving away prized possessions
People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:
- Loss of interest
- Relief/Sudden Improvement
*Information cited from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). For more information, visit: https://afsp.org/risk-factors-protective-factors-and-warning-signs
How to Respond to Someone Showing These Signs:
If you believe someone is considering suicide, ask them directly “Are you thinking about suicide or wanting to kill yourself?” Remember that if you ask someone if they want to kill themselves, this does NOT drive them toward that action – that’s a myth.
Persuade the person to allow you to assist them in getting help right now. Say “Will you go with me to get help?” Another option can be to enlist their promise not to kill themselves until you’ve arranged help for them. If persuasion doesn’t work, call HelpLine or emergency services.
Refer the person to an appropriate resource for assistance. It’s ideal if you can personally escort them to see a healthcare professional. The next best would be to assist in making arrangements for help and getting their agreement to follow through on this plan.
For personalized help responding, call our 24/7, crisis hotline at 1.800.684.2324 (Delaware County: 740.369.3316 or Morrow County: 419.947.2520), or email the Suicide Prevention Department at email@example.com.
Making Change Visible
The suicide prevention program at HelpLine offers a variety of services to schools and the community including:
- Middle and High School Suicide/Depression Prevention
Signs of Suicide Middle School, Signs of Suicide High School
We use evidence-based programming along with Safe Messaging guidelines to provide teens with age-appropriate skills to get help.
- Community Gatekeeper Training
- Question. Persuade. Refer. – QPR, A Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training
- We offer suicide intervention training to help provide anyone in our community with the tools needed to identify a person at risk of suicide and provide intervention and referral. See Connections website for upcoming dates and CEU information.
- Community Collaboration
Delaware Suicide Prevention Coalition (DSPC)
We collaborate with various schools and community resources to lead the DSPC. Our main goal is to increase community awareness through a variety of approaches, including gathering statistics, providing information, and organizing the annual suicide prevention walk.