Crisis/Suicide




Thinking of Suicide?
Friend in Danger?
The Facts
Prevention Plan


Thinking of Suicide?

First thing: If you’re out there reading this because you are suicidal please understand that there are people in the world who care about you! You might not have met them yet, but they are there waiting for you. Please get help right now.

Second thing: You are not alone. Many of us have felt this way at some point in our life. Most of us have survived and are here for you. All it takes is reaching out your hand. If you are in Houston, call LGBT Switchboard Houston, 713.529.3211. If you’re not in Houston, then call the SPEA National Hot Line, 1.800.273.8255. Someone is at both places, waiting for your call and waiting to listen to what you have to say.

What do we mean when we say someone is suicidal? Well, it can be several things. It can mean anything from you don’t want to wake up tomorrow morning to thinking you’re going to hurt yourself to having a plan to end your own life (please don’t). Your life is worth living, even if you’re not sure of that yet.

VERY IMPORTANT: Feelings change! How are you feeling right now: Unhappy? Unsafe? Alone? Unloved? Frightened? Please know that you can do things, right now, that will help you feel better.

HOLD OUT YOUR HAND: Almost every place in America has someone to listen to you, help you, and help you find people who can give you support over the long haul.

BE GOOD TO YOURSELF: Eat food that is good for you, get enough sleep, get enough exercise, leave the drugs and alcohol alone, do the things you enjoy and don’t forget your sense of humor.

RECOGNIZE YOURSELF FOR HAVING COME THIS FAR: You’ve got some good things going if you’ve made it this far. You can build on these things and get the future life you want!

FIND SOME SUPPORT: good counselors, therapists and support groups can make all the difference. You school’s GSA (gay-straight alliance) or a local LGBTQIA youth group can make all the difference. There are many on-line communities of glbt youth where you can get support from people just like you.

Please remember: You are all the potential in the world in one shining package. We don’t want to lose you. Put out your hand, someone will take it.

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Friend in Danger?

If you think a friend is going to kill him or herself, there are some things you can do, and we talk about them below. BUT, one thing you have to accept is that even if you do everything exactly right, you cannot control the actions of another person.

Here are some risk factors for suicide:

  • Recent loss of a loved one
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Family problems
  • School problems
  • Social isolation
  • Substance abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Lack of support from family
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Absence of positive adult role models
  • Guns at home
  • Mental illness
  • Previous attempts at suicide

Here are some risk factors specific to LGBTQIA youth:

  • Conflict related to sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Societal homophobia
  • Social/legal consequences of being LGBTQIA
  • Internalized homophobia
  • Family rejection because of sexual orientation
  • Abuse/harrasment because of sexual orientation
  • Failure to meet family's expectations
  • Feeling one's sexual orientation is incompatible with family's religious beliefs
  • Social isolation
  • Increased risk of substance abuse
  • Fear of HIV
  • More likely to be thrown out of home
  • Internalized conflict where they can see no way out
  • Traditoinal places of support are not available

!!!DANGER SIGNS!!!

  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Verbalizing of suicide threats
  • Giving away of prized possessions
  • Collection and discussion of information on suicide methods
  • Expression of hopelessness, helplessness, and anger at oneself or the world
  • Themes of death or depression in conversation, writing, reading selections, or artwork
  • Statements or suggestions that the speaker would not be missed if he or she were gone
  • Scratching or marking of the body, or other self-harming acts
  • Recent loss of a friend, family member or pet through death or suicide
  • Acute personality changes: unusual withdrawal, aggressiveness, moodiness, or new involvement in high-risk activities
  • A dramatic change in school performance
  • Running away
  • Physical symptoms such as: eating disturbances, sleeplessness or excessive sleeping, chronic headaches or stomachaches, apathetic appearance
  • Use or increased use of alcohol or drugs

OK, so you've read all this and you want to help. Here are some suggestions:

  • Listen: encourage the individual to talk to some person s/he trusts
  • Be honest: if the person's words or actions scare you, tell him or her. If you're worried and don't know what to do, say so. Don't be a cheerful phony
  • Share feelings; we all feel sad, hurt or hopeless at times. Let s/he know that they are not alone
  • Get help: professional help is crucial when something as important as suicide is considered
  • TALK TO AN ADULT YOU TRUST TO HELP YOU WITH THIS

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The Facts

Here are some myths and facts about suicide:

Myth: People who talk about suicide don't commit suicide.
Fact: Of any ten persons who kill themselves, eight have given definite warning of their suicidal intentions.

Myth: Suicide happens without warning.
Fact: Studies reveal that suicidal persons give many clues and warnings regarding suicidal intentions.

Myth: The suicidal person wants to die and feels that there is no turning back.
Fact: Suicidal people are usually ambivalent about dying and frequently will seek help immediately after attempting to harm themselves.

Myth: Once suicidal, always suicidal.
Fact: Most people who are suicidal are so for only a very brief period once in their lives.

Myth: The tendency toward suicide is inherited and passes from generation to generation.
Fact: Although suicidal behavior does tend to run in families, it does not appear to be transmitted genetically.

Myth: Suicidal people are mentally ill.
Fact: Although many suicidal people are depressed and distraught, most could not be diagnosed as mentally ill.

Myth: There is no correlation between alcoholism and suicide.
Fact: Alcoholism and suicide often go hand in hand. Even people who don't normally drink will often ingest alcohol shortly before killing themselves.

Myth: If you ask someone about their suicidal intentions, you will only encourage them to kill themselves.
Fact: The opposite is true. ASking someone directly about their suicidal intentions will often lower their anxiety level and act as a deterrent.

Myth: Suicide is common among the 'lower' class.
Fact: Suicide crosses all socioeconomic distinctions and no one class is more suceptible to it than another.

Myth: Suicidal people rarely seek medical attention.
Fact: About 75% of suicidal people will visit a physician within the month before they kill themselves.

Prevention Plan

It can be hard to help yourself when you are in so much pain you just want it to stop. We here at HATCH Central urge everyone to fill out this plan now. Commit that you will do every step in the plan before you harm yourself. That way, you can get out of the painful place without ending your life. REMEMBER - although sometimes it doesn't seem like it, SUICIDE IS A PERMANENT SOLUTION TO A TEMPORARY PROBLEM.

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Suicide Prevention Plan - Click here to print a plan you can write on.

DESCRIBE POSSIBLE PREVENTION STEPS YOU CAN AGREE TO FOLLOW:

STEP 1:

STEP 2:

STEP 3:

STEP 4:

STEP 5:

LIST HELPFUL PEOPLE YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO CALL BEFORE YOU HARM YOURSELF:

NAME: PHONE NUMBER:
NAME: PHONE NUMBER:
NAME: PHONE NUMBER:
NAME: PHONE NUMBER:
NAME: PHONE NUMBER:

LIST PLACES YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO GO FOR HELP INSTEAD OF HARMING YOURSELF:

PLACE 1:

PLACE 2:

PLACE 3:

PLACE 4:

PLACE 5:

Once you have completed this plan, please fold it up and put it in your wallet.

And remember, you can call the LGBT Switchboard 24/7 for help or just to talk: 713.529.3211

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