Help for Attempt-Survivors
Please know that anytime there is a suicide attempt, it is understood that the pain felt is deep, the emotions are intense and the feelings and thoughts about ending your life are complex and complicated. Know that your attempt does not define you as an individual; it only speaks to the unbearable pain that you were in during that moment in your life. Oftentimes, people who have attempted suicide may have not wanted to die; they just didn’t know what else to do. In addition, occurrences of mental health and substance abuse issues often coincide with life circumstances that result in a suicide attempt. Attempt-survivors are fortunate because they get another chance at life. There are several materials that can help you remain safe and find additional services or supports that you may happen to need now or even in the future. Most importantly, you get the opportunity to realize that you are not alone. You are worthy of being here. No matter what choices you make from here on out, you deserve to be here. Suicide is complex, and each experience is individual. Ultimately, find HOPE and HELP to ensure your continued LIFE.
What you can do for yourself?
- Self-Care Activities- Taking care of yourself right now is vital. This includes doing anything that makes you feel good about yourself that protects you from being at-risk.
- Connect yourself with supportive environments and individuals
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- In 2012, approximately 11.5 million people in the US seriously considered suicide.
- 4.8 million people made a plan for suicide, and 2.5 million made a suicide attempt.
- The vast majority of those who made a suicide attempt survive and recover.
- For every suicide death, there is an estimated 100-200 attempts for adolescents, 25 attempts for adults, and 4 attempts for older Americans.
- Although a suicide attempt is the strongest predictor of future death by suicide, 90% of attempt survivors avoid death by suicide.
Core Values of Supporting Attempt-Survivors
- Foster hope and help people find meaning and purpose in life
- Preserve dignity and counter stigma, shame and discrimination
- Connect people to peer supports
- Promote community connectedness
- Engage and support family and friends
- Respect and support cultural, ethnic and/or spiritual beliefs and traditions
- Promote choice and collaboration in care
- Provide timely access to care and support
Resources for Attempt-Survivors
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need help, call or text 9-8-8 now. You will be routed to the closest possible crisis center in your area.
Crisis Text Line is free 24/7 support at your fingertips where every texter is connected with a real-life, trained Crisis Counselor. All Crisis Counselors are volunteers, who donate their time to helping people in crisis. Text 741741 or send a message on WhatsApp.
This TED Talk features J.D. Schramm relating the story of his suicide attempt as a way to encourage discussion about suicide attempts/attempt suvivors and to encourage the development of resources geared toward assisting attempt survivors.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) provides resources for suicide attempt survivors and their love ones. Browse to find guides and support groups.
Live Through This is a collection of portraits and stories of suicide attempt survivors, as told by those survivors. The intention of Live Through This is to show that everyone is susceptible to depression and suicidal thoughts by sharing portraits and stories of real attempt survivors—people who look just like you. These feelings could affect your mom, your partner or your brother. The fear of talking about it can be a killer.
The Link’s National Resource Center for Suicide and Prevention and Aftercare (NRC) is a leading resource in the country for suicide prevention and aftercare. It is dedicated to reaching out to those whose lives have been impacted by suicide and connecting them to available resources. Families who have experienced a loss through suicide receive unparalleled support while they grieve.
The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention convened a national task force of community leaders, who have been suicidal, to develop and issue a report with sweeping recommendations for how suicide attempt survivors ought to be treated. This group of individuals from around the country, diverse in age, ethnicity, employment and region, met for nearly two years to look at suicide prevention in a whole new way.
Whether you are thinking about suicide now or in the recent past, or you made a suicide attempt last night or several years ago, we understand that the pain you have felt is deep, your emotions may still feel raw and that your feelings about wanting to end your life are (or were) complicated. We’re glad that you found the Lifeline and we want to help you remain safe and find hope, whether your difficult period is now or in the future. Throughout With Help Comes Hope, you’ll find stories from attempt survivors who have made it through their darkest hour. Some of these stories and resources are for families, friends, and clinicians who want to support people who are feeling suicidal and/or suicide attempt survivors.