Suicide Risks and Prevention Resources and Information

Resources for Suicide Risks and Prevention Across the Lifespan

Page updated on Jan 19, 2021 at 4:06 PM

Nationally, one in five Americans live with a mental health condition. Nearly one in five youth will experience a mental health challenge such as depression or anxiety at some point during their life, and suicide remains the third leading cause of death in this age group.  Learn how you can get help, support someone in crisis and prevent suicide.


Get Help: Talk to Someone Now

  • CrisisLink: 703.527.4077 or text “CONNECT” to 85511
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741741
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • Call 1.800.273.TALK (8255)
    • For Deaf and Hard of Hearing, use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255.
    • Chat with someone 24/7 online through Lifeline Chat
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Veterans Crisis line
    • Call 1.800.273.8255, Press 1
    • Text 838255
    • Chat confidentiality with someone online 24/7 through Crisis Chat
  • Emergency Services, Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services: 703.746.3401
  • Red Nacional del Suicidio: 1.888.628.9454
  • The Trevor Project, LGBT Youth: 1.866.488.7386
    • Call 1.866.488.7386
    • TrevorText, a confidential and secure resource that provides live help for LGBTQ youth with a trained specialist, over text messages: Text START to 678-678
    • Chat with someone online 24/7 through Trevor Chat.

Mental Health Resources


Know The Signs - Warning Signs of Suicidal Behaviors

Everyone can play a role in preventing suicide by being aware of the warning signs of suicidal behaviors:  

  • Talking about wanting to die, feeling hopeless, trapped, in unbearable pain, or being a burden to others   
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself 
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs 
  • Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless 
  • Sleeping too little or too much 
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated 
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge 
  • Displaying extreme mood swings  


What You Can Do - Helping Someone in Crisis 

If you believe someone is at risk of suicide:   

  • Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves (This will not put the idea into their heads, or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.) 
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) 
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional 
  • Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt 
  • If possible, do not leave the person alone 

Who is at Risk for Suicide?

There is no single cause of suicide. Several factors can increase a person’s risk for attempting or dying by suicide. However, having these risk factors does not always mean that suicide will occur. Risk factors for suicide include:   

  • Previous suicide attempt(s) 
  • History of depression or other mental illness 
  • Alcohol or drug abuse 
  • Family history of suicide or violence 
  • Physical illness 
  • Feeling alone  

Learn more about suicide risk here. 


Lock & Talk Virginia: Lock Meds. Lock Guns. Talk Safety.

The Department of Community and Human Services is offering free locking medication boxes and firearm trigger or cable locks as part of Lock and Talk Northern Virginia. Studies show that when firearms are accessible, individuals are three times more likely to die by suicide, and that most people who complete suicide use firearms (61%) or poisons/medications (19%). Limiting access to lethal means, talking with those who may want to end their lives and quickly accessing help are essential to prevention and also prevent accidents. The free firearm locks and medication lock boxes include information on safe handling and messaging, and tips to secure firearms and medications. The best strategy for protecting a person at risk is to remove lethal means from the home until a mental health crisis is resolved. Download flyers in English and Spanish.

Another way of limiting access to lethal means is to dispose of unused or expired medication safely. Learn more about safe medication disposal.


Lock and Talk Flyer - Feb 2020        Lock and Talk Flyer - June 2020 - Spanish


Kognito

Participate in Kognito. The City of Alexandria is offering 300 individual licenses this online training resource for adults and youth that uses simulation and role-play conversations to help individuals gain skills in recognizing students in mental distress and initiate conversations about concerns and mental health. This program features tools for youth interested in supporting their peers by recognizing risk factors and adults who work with elementary, middle school and high school aged youth. The licenses will give Alexandria residents and organizations access to two sets of resources available through Kognito, a company that develops evidence-based health simulations combined with gaming technology to engage users in role-play conversations with virtual humans, allowing users to try different approaches, get personalized feedback and gain the skills to lead similar conversations in real life:

  • Friend2Friend Training. Youth can practice supporting their peers by participating in this research-based, online, interactive experience that allows high school students to practice a simulated, challenging conversation with a friend who may be suffering from psychological distress. To access the training, email RAISE@alexandriava.gov.
  • At Risk Training. Adults can participate in grade specific training to learn about mental health and suicide prevention through simulated conversations with students, which helps them recognize when a student is in distress, initiate a conversation about concerns and connect parents and students to support services. To access the training, email RAISE@alexandriava.gov.

Individuals and organizations located in the City of Alexandria who are interested in securing a license should email RAISE@alexandriava.gov. Individuals outside of the City of Alexandria can email suicidepreventionnva@fairfaxcounty.gov for a referral to Kognito resources in their jurisdiction.


Other Ways to Help Prevent Suicide


Additional Information and Help

  • Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia (SPAN): A regional coalition of the Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax-Falls Church, Loudoun, and Prince William Community Services Boards (CSBs) and other groups in Northern Virginia, all working together to raise awareness and share resources to prevent suicide


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