How to Recognize Suicide Warning Signs and Getting Help


August 13, 2014

News Highlights

  • Help is available 24/7 if you or somone you know says they want to commit suicide. Call the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board 703-573-5679, TTY 711, or text "need help" to CrisisLink at 703-940-0888.
  • Learn to recognize the signs of depression and suicide.

Depression is real.

It’s more common than you may think, and it can affect anyone—including people who are famous, successful, creative, or funny like comedian Robin Williams.

About 6.7 percent of adults experience major depression each year, and it affects about 3.3 percent of 13 to 18 year olds, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Many people who are depressed never seek help, but even people battling severe depression can get better with treatment.

If know someone who is depressed or says they want to commit suicide, here’s how you can help—and how to recognize the suicide warning signs and signs of depression.

1: Learn these signs of suicide and depression

2: What to do if someone says they want to commit suicide or expresses suicidal thoughts

  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Call the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board 703-573-5679, TTY 711. Help is available 24/7. Or text “need help” to CrisisLink at 703-940-0888.
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt

3: Take online, virtual Youth Suicide Prevention Training

In a virtual environment, you’ll assume the role of an adult interacting with a young person. You’ll learn how to recognize signs of psychological distress, and connect youth with appropriate support.

Illustration of students sitting in a classroom

4: Become certified to provide Mental Health First Aid

You can register for classes this fall in English and Spanish. Learn common warning signs and risk factors for mental health problems and provides a five-step action plan and resources for helping someone in crisis.

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