Suicide is difficult behavior to predict, however there are warning signs that a person may be preparing for suicide. You may be tempted to give advice or try to fix your friend's life or even change his or her mood. We suggest that get your friend professional help immediately. Warning signs of suicide attempt may include:
- Serious signs of depression (see symptoms)
- Increased use of alcohol and other drugs
- Reckless driving/violent behavior
- Giving away possessions
- Obtaining the means (weapons or other methods) for killing oneself
- Sudden interest in religion
The following suggestions are useful when helping a suicidal friend:
Be supportive. Do not deny or minimize your friend's pain. Explain to your friend that you are concerned about the situation.
Show that you care. Stay in touch and stay interested. Take time to listen and if you are concerned about her/his safety ...
Ask the question. Are you thinking about killing yourself? Ask directly, even though it may feel awkward. Find out if your friend has a specific plan for committing suicide and how far she/he has gone to carry it out.
Be honest. If your friend's behavior or comments frighten you, say so. Don't try to be superficially cheerful. Instead, reassure your friend that depression is treatable and that treatment can really make a difference. Offer to walk her/him to the Counseling Center. Call UPD at 716-878-6333 or Crisis Services at 716-834-3131. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Don't assume the situation will take care of itself.
- Don't leave your friend alone.
- Don't be sworn to secrecy.
The Counseling Center is now offering the QPR training. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer -- three simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. People trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone for help. In addition, Buffalo State College has developed a new Suicide Prevention initiative called Buffalo State Cares. To learn more about Buffalo State Cares and QPR Training for faculty, staff, and students, click here.