Suicidality can be experienced by anyone, and it could be part of mental illness diagnosis or not. Approximately 90% of individuals who die by suicide experience a mental illness, making it an issue closely tied to what we do here at Art With Impact. There are infinite reasons why someone might feel like killing themselves is the only option. There are a number of factors that may put a person at risk of suicide, including: substance abuse, chronic medical illness, oppression due to an identity (such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.), history of trauma, isolation, sleep deprivation and age (under 24 or above 65 are at a higher risk).

To reduce the risk of suicide, psychotherapy and medication can be used to help recognize unhealthy patterns of thinking and teach coping skills to deal with problems. Seeking treatment for underlying depression and anxiety through doctors or health professionals is essential, as is building social and peer support networks. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone, and help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

If you are concerned about someone, talk with them and ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide and if they have a plan to end their life. If this is the case, connect with a crisis service and stay with the person, listening without judgement and telling them they are important and you care about them.

If you are concerned about someone, ask them if they are suicidal. Don’t be afraid that you will put the idea in their head. It may be a relief for them to talk about it.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

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Let them know help is available and that the cause of their suicidal thoughts can be successfully treated. Help them access the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number or make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual advisor, or mental health professional.

National Institute of Mental Health


A person who is suicidal might think things like:

  • “There is no reason for me to be here anymore.”
  • “Everyone else’s lives would be better if I was dead.”
  • “This all just feels too hard, and there’s no way for anything to get better unless I die.”


A person who is suicidal might feel:

  • Hopelessness
  • Helplessness
  • Emptiness

Be there: Listen to them and take them seriously. Don’t judge or minimize their feelings. Be positive and hopeful, and remember that suicide can be prevented.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association

Additional Resources

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention User friendly support network and research organization advocating for public policy and care for those affected by suicide. They organize “Out of the Darkness” Walks to fundraise for prevention and educational programs about illnesses that can lead to suicide and have local chapters throughout the U.S. Go to site
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Confidential, toll-free, 24-hour crisis line available to anyone in suicidal or emotional distress. Connects callers to crisis counselors and mental health referrals, as well as specialists for veterans, active military members and their families. Their extensive video section includes stories of hope and recovery and information on how to help others. Go to site
The Trevor Project Crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ youth, including a secure instant messaging and text service. Leading in LGBTQ suicide and advocacy, The Trevor Project offers a large social network and valuable resources for youth and adults. Go to site
Time to Change Led by UK charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, Time to Change is a youth focused anti-stigma campaign informing and supporting individuals struggling with a number of mental health issues. Their blog collection is impressive, posted regularly, and offers a supportive environment for those living with depression and OCD. Go to site
National Institute of Mental Health Extensive information and research transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses for prevention, recovery, and cure. Offers health information specific to age and gender. Go to site
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) Brings awareness to the issue of suicide and educates the public reduce the stigma. SAVE creates customized training programs for professionals and offers support groups, personal stories and information on coping with loss and grief. Go to site
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP/ACPS) The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) was incorporated in 1985 by a group of professionals who saw the need to provide information and resources to communities to reduce the suicide rate and minimize the harmful consequences of suicidal behaviour. CASP creates and shares resources and advocates for policy development. Their site has comprehensive resource sections for: understanding suicide, prevention, coping with loss and grieving. Go to site
True Recovery - Healthy Mind and Body: A Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Guide True Recovery is an addiction treatment center in Southern California. This Suicide Prevention Guide is a comprehensive overview of signs of suicidality, and actions that can be taken to prevent and heal from suicide. Go to site
Crisis Text Line Crisis Text Line is a United States not-for-profit organization providing free crisis intervention via SMS message. The organization's services are available 24 hours a day every day, throughout the US by texting 741741. Go to site

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