September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Christy Beck from Beck Psychotherapy shares some of the warning signs, and offers tips to help those who may be considering suicide.  

Information from Stop a Suicide.

Warning Signs

-Engaging in risky behavior.

-Becoming preoccupied with death.

-Increasing drinking, painkiller usage or excessive medication use.

-Seeming overwhelmed after childbirth or talking about harming their baby..

-Being devastated by a relationship problem or breakup.

-Obtaining a weapon or other means of self harm.

-Totally withdrawing from life, loved ones, or activities.

-Distressed about gender identity or sexuality.

-Being hopeless about their financial/work situation.

-Being distraught over uncontrollable gambling.

How to Help

Learn to ACT:


Do take it seriously.  If you recognize warning signs in your friend or loved one, it is very important to take them seriously.  In fact, the majority of people who die by suicide gave some indication of their intention to those close to them. 

Do listen attentively.  Even if professional help is needed, your friend or loved one will be more willing to seek help if you have listened carefully to them.


Do voice your concern.  Take the initiative to ask what is troubling your friend or loved one, and attempt to overcome any reluctance on their part to talk about it.

Do let the person know you care and understand.  Continue to be available to your friend and show interest and support.

Do remain calm.  Although it might upset you to hear thoughts about suicide, assure your friend or loved one that you will be there for him or her and that help is available.

Do ask if the person has a specific plan (Note: asking about suicide does not cause a person to think about committing suicide)

What to Avoid:

-Trying to cheer the person up, or tell them to snap out of it.

-Assuming the situation will take care of itself.

-Being sworn to secrecy.

-Leaving the person alone, unless they act in a threatening way.  Then, leave and call 911.


Do get professional help immediately.  If your friend or loved on e is exhibiting any suicidal warning signs, assist them by contacting a mental health professional, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255).  You can also call 911 or assist them with getting to the nearest emergency room.

If for any reason you are unsure, uncomfortable, or unable to take action, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255).

If the person seems unwilling to accept treatment, call the police, your local hospital emergency department, or 911 if you feel that he or she is in immediate danger

-Take precautions to consider your own personal safety.  It is important not to put yourself in harm’s way.

-Suicidal crises do not last forever.  Timely intervention can make a difference and save a life.  Even if someone seems angry at you for helping, in time they will be grateful for it.

Beck Psychotherapy is located at 103 East Beaver Ave. Suite #2 in State College, and you can call them at (814) 409-7744. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Beck Psychotherapy is coming to Altoona! The new office will open October 1st at 700 Park Avenue, Altoona.