I know. This is a hard topic that makes us feel uncomfortable and helpless however, we must talk about as it is real and is on the rise within our community

A few FACTS about suicide:

• Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death amongst adolescents ages 12-15
• LGBTQIA+ youth are 4x more likely to seriously consider suicide, make a plan, and attempt suicide versus their peers
• 46% of people who die by suicide have a known mental illness
• Those who have a family history of suicide are more at risk than others
• Substance usage/intoxication – more than 1 in 3 people who die by suicide are under the influence at the time of their death
• A history of trauma and/or abuse
• A recent loss or tragedy
• Gender – although women attempt more, men are 4x more likely to die by suicide because they use more lethal means

What are the WARNING SIGNS for suicide?

• Direct threats (I am going to kill myself)
• Indirect threats (I wish I could fall asleep and never wake up again)
• Changes in behavioral patterns – sleeping all day, not sleeping, or eating, not going to school or work
• Increased substance usage
• Withdrawing from family and friends
• Calling to say goodbye
• Giving away possessions
• Cryptic social media posts
• Searching online for methods of committing suicide
• Expressing feelings of hopelessness or things never changing
• Suddenly becoming calm or cheerful after a long period of depression
• Sometimes there are no warning signs

How YOU can help!

• Ask direct questions! Asking a person if they want to commit suicide does not make them do it. Asking shows that you care.
• Ask if they have a plan. (How will you do it.)
• Ask if they have the means to carry out the plan. (Do they have access to the thing (s) they will use.)
• Remove anything that can be used in a suicide attempt
• Do not leave the person alone
• Take the person to the nearest emergency room
• Call a mental health or medical professional for help
• Offer support
• Do NOT judge or shame

Here are some NUMBERS to call for help

Call 911 or your local emergency number. Calling 911 is a gamble in our community however this may be the most effective and fastest way to get your loved one to safety.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

Maryland’s Crisis Hotline 211

MD Crisis Response Team 301-429-2185

The Trevor Project for LGBTQIA+ Youth Hotline 1-866-488-7386

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please seek out the help of a licensed professional. Some licensed professionals include a doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, guidance counselor, professional counselor, Social Worker, principal, or teacher.

Additional Resources

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

National Alliance on Mental Illness Prince Georges County

Prince Georges County Behavioral Health Services

The Trevor Project