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Learn more about suicide and suicide prevention. This page offers both general information and findings in support of #BeThe1To’s five steps for action found in the message toolkit.

If you’re concerned about yourself or someone else, please call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. We’re available 24/7, and we’re free and completely confidential.


Why the Five Steps for Action Can Help

The five action steps in our message kit for communicating with someone who may be suicidal are supported by evidence in the field of suicide prevention.

Studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts. In fact, studies suggest the opposite: findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.

Impact of Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline found that individuals that called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline were significantly more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful by the end of calls handled by Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training-trained counselors. These improvements were linked to ASIST-related counselor interventions, including listening without judgment, exploring reasons for living and creating a network of support.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health notes that reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal means is an important part of suicide prevention. A number of studies have indicated that when lethal means are made less available or less deadly, suicide rates by that method decline, and frequently suicide rates overall decline.

Studies have shown a reduction in the number of deaths by suicide when following up was involved with high risk populations after they were discharge from acute care services. Studies have also shown that brief, low cost intervention and supportive, ongoing contact may be an important part of suicide prevention.


General Information

Get the 2015 “Understanding Suicide” fact sheet. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Find out the warning signs for suicide.

Learn the risk factors for suicide.

Learn what a safety plan is and how to make one.

#BeThe1To Help: 7 Tips If Someone You Know is Being Bullied (Ditch the Label)

How Parents Can Help Prevent Suicide (Teen Line)

What You Can Do To Help Prevent Suicide (NFL Life Line)

Find an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training workshop. (LivingWorks)

Coping Tips for Traumatic Events and Disasters (Disaster Distress Helpline)

Get messages to help those expressing suicidal intent on social media.

See our recommendations for journalists reporting on suicide.

Download Small Acts of Kindness cards for Suicide Prevention Month. (LivingWorks)

Preventing Suicide Through a Comprehensive Public Health Approach (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)