Suicide Attempt Survivors
Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group - Madison, NJ
Our support group does not focus on and we are not able to provide group support for those who have attempted suicide. Our group meetings are focused on the grieving and healing of those who have lost loved ones to suicide. The pain and struggles of the two groups are different and each are unique. We understand that suicide attempt survivors also need support to help them deal with the pressures and the stigma of their suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts. Here is a collection of information that suicide attempt survivors may find helpful.
After a Suicide Attempt
It is often a confusing and emotional time for you and your family and friends following a suicide attempt. People may not understand the stress and pain you were feeling just before and after your attempt. Here is a collection of resources to help you and those around you understand where you all need to go next in dealing with your suicidal thoughts and actions.
Counseling For Suicide Attempt Survivors
It is essential that you seek professional counseling to assist you with your suicide attempt and deal with suicidal thoughts you many have. If you don't have psychiatrist or psychologist, Click Here for ideas on how to find a counselor.
If you can't reach your counselor, or you don't have one, or you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is there to help! If you prefer, they have a confidential online chat service. Click Here!
If not in crisis but need to talk, call the Peer Recovery WarmLine at 877-292-5588. The WarmLine is a service of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. Hours are Monday to Friday 8 am to 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday 5 pm to 10 pm, and holidays 3 pm to 10 pm.
If you don't feel comfortable talking in person, you can always use the Crisis Text Line. TEXT “START” TO 741741 to begin to chat with someone.
Suicide Attempt Support Groups
Summary: Suicide Anonymous is a fellowship in which we share our experience, strength and hope with each other so we may solve our common problem and help others recover from suicidal preoccupation.
Resource: Website / Online Support
Summary: Connections is an online directory where people who are living with suicidal thoughts and feelings, including those who have survived attempts, can connect with others who have been there for support in their journey of recovery. Connections peer support volunteers serve as supportive listeners and, if helpful, share their experience of recovery and suicidal intensity.
Connections is a network for communication and remote-only informal support that is driven by the individuals and peer supporters themselves. It is not a full-time service and peer supporters are not mental health service professionals. Connections peer supporters are friendly volunteers– they are not working as professional treatment providers and should not be relied upon as a primary source of care in urgent situations.
Resource: 67 page Book
Summary: The book discusses one form of suicide: suicide addiction. Suicide addiction goes against all common sense. Suicide is among the last things that one would expect to be addictive. But for us, it is the best answer. If you believe, as we do, that suicide is complicated, and if you want to see inside the hearts and minds of those of us who have struggled with suicide addiction, read on..
Summary: Here, you’ll find guidelines for creating a support group for attempt survivors or those with suicidal thinking, based on information from several groups in the U.S. and Canada. A list of all known support groups in both countries, plus Ireland and the UK, is at the end of this page.
Resource: Support Groups
Resource: Group Locations and Meeting Times
Summary: The most important thing to remember about suicidal thoughts is that they are symptoms of a treatable illness associated with fluctuations in the chemistry of the body and brain. They are not signs of personal weakness or character flaws, nor are they conditions that will just "go away" by themselves.
Resource: Local Chapter Contacts
Resource: NAMI Somerset County Resource Guide
Summary: NAMI New Jersey (NAMI NJ) is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Through education, support, advocacy and public awareness programs NAMI NJ fosters understanding about mental illness, confronts stigma often associated with mental disorders, advocates for public policies that benefit those affected by mental illness, and promotes research into the causes, treatment and recovery of mental health disorders.
Summary: There are many hundreds of additional local community, online & National Support Groups available to those in need. They include a broad range of other stressful life situations that include most illnesses, bereavement situations, disabilities, divorce, parenting problems, family issues, other trauma experiences, job clubs, and many other life transitions and adversities.
Summary: Support for people living with suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. "Whether you are thinking about suicide now or in the recent past, or you made a suicide attempt last night or several years ago, we understand that the pain you have felt is deep, your emotions may still feel raw, and that your feelings about wanting to end your life are (or were) complicated."
Resource: Online Chat and Discussion Forum
Summary: Suicide Forum is a pro-life peer to peer support forum for people in crisis.
Summary: This short documentary follows a group therapy workshop for people who have attempted suicide more than once. A hybrid of vérité and animation, the film is a candid portrayal of 12 people who together, for 20 weeks, take on their fears, their behaviours and their ghosts to move towards life and away from suicide.
Apps and Tools For Suicide Attempt Survivors
There are numerous online tools and applications for your smart phone to help you monitor and respond to your moods and emotions. Installing them and using them prior to a crisis allows you to quickly find help when you need it. More can be found by searching for "suicide prevention" on the Itunes App store or the Google Play store.
Resource: Android App
Summary: A cell phone app that helps you develop a safety plan before you need it. When suicidal thoughts start, it can help you work through your safety plan and get the support and help you need.
Resource: Iphone and Android App
Summary: With MY3, you define your network and your plan to stay safe. With MY3 you can be prepared to help yourself and reach out to others when you are having thoughts of suicide. Remember: there is hope and a life to look forward to, even in your darkest moments. MY3 can help you get through your most difficult times. Who are your 3? Is it your sister? Your therapist? Maybe even a neighbor down the street? Download MY3 to make sure that your 3 are there to help you when you need them most.
Resource: 2 page PDF
Summary: A simple tip sheet of things you can do when feeling suicidal. "Have you been thinking about suicide? You may have found yourself wishing that you were dead, or perhaps that your friends and family would be better off if you were. You may have even considered how you would kill yourself. "
Resource: 1 page PDF
Summary: Suicide Safety Plan Template
Resource: 1 page PDF
Summary: Wallet card to use during a suicide crisis with important contacts
Summary: Sometimes it’s hard to see past the next second, much less the next 5 minutes. On our website, You Matter, one of our bloggers keeps a list handy of some things that help her calm down or distract her for just a little bit, so that she can eventually make it to a safe place where she can deal with her emotions.Some ideas are fun, quirky, healthy, and some are simply an example of great self-care. Try creating your own list, and keep it close to you. When things get tough, pick one item that makes you feel a little bit better, if only temporarily.
Summary: Numerous articles such as "How do I ask my loved ones for help?" and "Creating a safety plan"
Resource: 100 page ebook PDF
Summary: "I don't know who you are or why you are reading these words. I only know that you have picked up this book and, for the moment, you are reading it. It is my hope that if you need this book, you will continue to read it."
Resource: 7 page PDF
Summary: If you are thinking about suicide, you are not alone. Many people have thoughts of suicide, for a number of reasons. Thoughts of suicide can be very scary. You probably feel hurt, confused, overwhelmed and hopeless about your future. You may feel sadness, grief, anger, guilt, shame, or emptiness. You may think that nothing can be done to change your situation. Your feelings may seem like they are just too much to handle right now. It is important to know that thinking about suicide does not mean that you will lose control or act on these thoughts. Having thoughts of suicide does not mean you are weak, or ‘crazy’. Many people think about suicide because they are looking for a way to escape the pain they are feeling. Even though your situation seems hopeless and you wonder if you can stand another minute of feeling this bad, there are ways to get through this and feel better. You don’t have to face this situation alone. Help is available. Here are a few ideas that you can use right now
Taking Care of Yourself
Resource: 19 page PDF
Summary: This brochure was created to help you as you begin to work through challenges that led you to attempt to take your life. It offers information about moving ahead after your treatment in the emergency department and provides resources for more information about suicide and mental illnesses.
Resource: 20 page PDF
Summary: Surviving a suicide attempt is one of the most life changing emotions and an overwhelming sense of being lost. We wrote this booklet in the hopes that this information will answer some of your questions and guide you in a direction where you can find an effective way to reduce your pain.
Resource: 40 page PDF
Summary: The time right after your suicide attempt can be the most confusing and emotional part of your entire life. In some ways, it may be even more difficult than the time preceding your attempt. Not only are you still facing the thoughts and feelings that led you to consider suicide, but now you may be struggling to figure out what to do since you survived.
Resource: 20 page PDF
Summary: A wellness plan puts you in control of your recovery and gives you a clear picture of what you’re working for every day. It also prepares you, and those who support you, to handle the more difficult moments that the conditions might bring.
Summary: If you are feeling suicidal now, please stop long enough to read this. It will only take about five minutes. I do not want to talk you out of your bad feelings. I am not a therapist or other mental health professional - only someone who knows what it is like to be in pain.
Resource: 12 page PDF
Summary: If you have just woken up alive, I hope this booklet will let you know you are not alone. Your journey starts now; unfortunately there is no road map for where you are going.
Resource: 28 page PDF
Summary: This resource was developed with major input from many people who have attempted suicide and their family and friends; people just like you. It has been developed for ordinary, everyday people encountering the very difficult and intensely emotional time that occurs after a suicide attempt. The resource does not propose any one solution or path but provides information and thoughts based on shared experience and knowledge in the hope that your journey will be gentler and more informed.
Resource: Blog Post
Summary: You may be seriously considering suicide and yet not want to tell a therapist, because you fear landing in a mental hospital. If you go to a therapist or psychiatrist and tell them you are seriously thinking of killing yourself, that does not necessarily mean you will be hospitalized. Hospitals are very strict these days about who they admit, and insurance companies are equally strict about covering a hospital stay. Some people joke that it is harder to get into a mental hospital than Harvard University.
Videos For Suicide Attempt Survivors
Resource: 11 minute Video
Summary: This video is part of the award winning TED speaker series. The speaker, Kevin Breel shares his struggles with depression and his suicide attempt. "Kevin Breel didn't look like a depressed kid: team captain, at every party, funny and confident. But he tells the story of the night he realized that — to save his own life — he needed to say four simple words."
Resource: 4 min video
Resource: Blog Post
Summary: Even when our lives appear fine from the outside, locked within can be a world of quiet suffering, leading some to the decision to end their life. At TEDYou, JD Schramm asks us to break the silence surrounding suicide and suicide attempts, and to create much-needed resources to help people who reclaim their life after escaping death.
Resource: 32 min Video
Summary: The video spotlights four suicide attempt survivors as they share a small part of their journey from the darkness to the warm sunlight of living life fully.
Resource: Video Series
Summary: A Video Guide for Suicide Attempt Survivors features the stories of three people: Jordan Burnham, who survived an attempt in his teens; Terry Wise, who survived an attempt in her thirties; and David Lilley, who survived an attempt in his forties. Told through the voices of these individuals, their families, and the professionals in their support network, each inspiring story recounts one person's journey from a suicide attempt to the life of hope and recovery he/she is leading today.
Resource: 15 minute Video
Summary: Terry Wise is an award-winning author and speaker who inspires diverse audiences with a unique story about hope and personal triumph. On Christmas morning 2000, she attempted suicide.
Dealing With Your Family After A Suicide Attempt
Resource: 24 page PDF
Summary: When a family member attempts suicide, it is a traumatic event that affects everybody. A variety of emotions may emerge, all of which are completely normal. You may also be thinking that you should have known, or you should have done something to prevent the attempt. Keep in mind that you are not responsible for the actions of other people. Suicidal people can be very good at keeping secrets and their feelings to themselves.
Resource: 20 page PDF
Summary: Suicidal thoughts and actions generate conflicting feelings in family members who love the person who wishes to take his or her own life. That is why this guide was developed for you. It will give you some important points on how to take care of yourself and your family member following a suicide attempt and it will provide resources to help you move forward.
Resource: 1 page PDF
Summary: Having a child released from the hospital after a suicide attempt can be an unsettling experience for parents and guardians. Although many parents report being shocked that their child needed to be hospitalized at all, there is often a momentary sense of relief during the hospital stay that at least their child is safe and in good hands.
Resource: 5 page PDF
Summary: One of the biggest challenges for teens following a suicide attempt, hospitalization or an intensive treatment program is figuring out how to get their lives back. As parents, though, you have your own set of worries. A lot of anxiety can come from the fact that your child is no longer receiving intensive mental health services. There can be lots of confusing and worrisome questions.
Summary: When you find out that a loved one had attempted suicide, you may feel overwhelmed with questions. Why didn’t they come to me? What did I miss? And most perplexing, What do I do now? The Lifeline asked people to recall the aftermath of their attempts to give you some insight into what they wanted and needed from their friends and family following their darkest moments. While there’s no formula or one-size-fits-all answer, we hope learning from these attempt survivors will help you feel confident in supporting your loved one.
Resource: 34 page PDF
Summary: This guide is to help you when someone you care about has made a suicide attempt or demonstrated other suicidal behaviours. It provides: • Information on what will happen at the hospital, your loved one’s rights, and your rights. • An understanding of what is happening for someone struggling with thoughts of suicide. • Tips on how you can help and support someone who is struggling. • Ways to take care of yourself during this difficult time.
Resource: 2 minute video
Summary: Family may be the best people to find clues of suicidal ideation- when someone is thinking about suicide. This video discusses the best way to ask someone if they are suicidal, and how to elicit the information from someone who has depression.
How to Talk to Children and Youth About a Suicide Attempt
Resource: Fact sheets linked below
Summary: The US Department of Veteran Affairs has developed a series of fact sheets on how to talk to children and youth in different age groups about a suicide attempt in your family.
Resource: 23 page PDF
Summary: This brief guide is designed to provide Veterans, their families, and VA care providers with resources that can serve as sources of information and support.
Resource: 40 Page PDF
Summary: This resource was developed with major input from many people who have attempted suicide and their family and friends; people just like you. It has been developed for ordinary, everyday people encountering the very difficult and intensely emotional time that occurs after a suicide attempt. The resource does not propose any one solution or path but provides information and thoughts based on shared experience and knowledge in the hope that your journey will be gentler and more informed. The quotes used throughout this resource come from the people with lived experience of a suicide attempt who we spoke to in the development of the resource.
In 2012, 11.5 million people in the U.S. seriously considered suicide
4.8 million made a suicide plan
2.5 million made a suicide attempt
483 thousand sought help for self harm
40 thousand died by suicide
HELP IS AVAILABLE!
National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2012) and Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (2011)
Helping Families Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder
Resource: 45 page PDF
Resource: 54 page PDF
Resource: 9 page PDF
Summary: Depression and Bipolar Alliance brochure for helping you understand your feeling and how you can help the one you love.
Resource: 7 page PDF
Summary: When a friend or family member has an episode of depression or bipolar disorder (manic depression), you might be unsure about what you can do to help. You might wonder how you should treat the person. You may not want to talk about the person’s illness, or feel guilty, angry or confused. All of these feelings are normal. There are ways you can help friends or family members throughout their recovery while empowering them to make their own choices.
If you are looking for a sign for what you should do...
This is it.
Stop and get help right now!
Get off the computer and pick up the phone or go to the ER.
WITH HELP, COMES HOPE
Blogs and Other Sites About Surviving a Suicide Attempt
Summary: Whether you are thinking about suicide now or in the recent past, or you made a suicide attempt last night or several years ago, we understand that the pain you have felt is deep, your emotions may still feel raw, and that your feelings about wanting to end your life are (or were) complicated. We’re glad that you found the Lifeline and we want to help you remain safe and find hope, whether your difficult period is now or in the future.
Summary: Life after suicidal thinking. A project for the American Association of Suicidology.
Summary: People continue to ask about suicidal thoughts and actions, “Why would you want to do that to yourself?” What a shocking and fundamental misunderstanding. I believe the question, as with any potentially fatal health issue, should be, “Why is this happening to the people we love?”
Summary: Live Through This is a collection of portraits and stories of suicide attempt survivors, as told by those survivors.
Summary: They call it waking up alive – that moment you’re aware your suicide attempt was not fatal. If this has happened to you, then you know what I mean. You weren’t expecting to still be here, and now you actually have to put the pieces of your broken life back together.
Summary: We are collecting the stories of people who have attempted or seriously contemplated suicide but now want to go on living. The Project will study and share these anonymous stories for research, education and inspiration.
Summary: Webinars discussing how to break the stigma of mental health issues
Summary: Summary of links and articles for attempt survivors.
Summary: In 2014, AAS took the historic step of approving a membership division for people who have been suicidal and their supporters. Our goal is to make sure people who've been suicidal are central to research, policy-making, public messaging, treatment and support. We're colleagues and friends. As we become more open and confident in discussing suicidal thinking, the resources for us grow. We are encouraging and supporting people who want to step forward to share their stories and their hope.
Resource: 2 page PDF
Summary: This is one of those questions we wish our children would never need to ask! Unfortunately, even in elementary school, kids seem to be hearing about suicide and if they ask us about it, we may not be quite sure what to say to them.
Summary: A resource site for suicide attempt survivors, their loved ones and their friends.
Psychiatric Emergency and Psychiatric Screening Services
The Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services program (PESS) provides crisis intervention services for residents, including screening for voluntary and involuntary hospitalization, mobile outreach, linkage to appropriate community resources, information and referrals. Counseling, emergency psychiatric evaluations and consultation services also are available.
Resource: 24-hour hotline 1-973-625-0280
Resource: 24 hour hotline 1-973-540-0100
Resource: Chilton Memorial Hospital PES
Resource: 24 hour hotline 1-973-831-5078
Resource: Somerset Medical Center PES
Resource: 24 hour hotline 1-908-526-4100
Resource: Phone: 1-973-383-0973
Resource: Family Guidance Center of Warren County
Resource: 24 hour Hotline: 1-908-454-5141
NJ Statewide Screening and Screening Outreach Programs
Available in each county 24-hours a day, seven-days a week to individuals in emotional crisis who require immediate attention. An individual may be seen without an appointment, or be brought to the screening center by a parent, friend, spouse, law enforcement official, mental health worker, or any other concerned individual. For information visit the DHS Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services' website at www.nj.gov/humanservices/dmhas/home/hotlines/MH_Screening_Centers.pdf.
Legal Issues Associated With Suicide Attempts and Mental Illness
Dealing with an involuntary commitment or having to deal with child protective services is best handled by an attorney. Please consult with an attorney as soon as possible to protect the rights of all involved! Many offer free consultations. Find an attorney whom you like and trust. If you don't have an attorney, please contact your local bar association to help you find an appropriate local lawyer.
Resource: 7 page PDF
Summary: Depression and Bipolar Alliance brochure for family members explaining psychiatric hospitalization for mood disorders and suicide attempts.
Resource: 61 page PDF
Summary: Understanding the legal process of detaining someone at risk. When it is alleged that an individual is in need of commitment, it is necessary to obtain an order of temporary commitment to detain 1) a person involuntarily confined to a short term care facility, psychiatric facility or special psychiatric hospital following an assessment at a screening service, or 2) a person not presently hospitalized or confined for treatment of mental illness, such as an independent (non-screening) alternate referral application.
Resource: 9 page PDF
Summary: Evaluation document used in involuntary commitment proceedings
Resource: 18 page PDF
Summary: AN ACT concerning involuntary commitment to treatment and amending and supplementing chapter 4 of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes and amending P.L.1991, c.270.
Resource: 11 page PDF
Summary: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule provides consumers with important privacy rights and protections with respect to their health information, including important controls over how their health information is used and disclosed by health plans and health care providers. Ensuring strong privacy protections is critical to maintaining individuals’ trust in their health care providers and willingness to obtain needed health care services, and these protections are especially important where very sensitive information is concerned, such as mental health information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule recognizes circumstances arise where health information may need to be shared to ensure the patient receives the best treatment and for other important purposes, such as for the health and safety of the patient or others. The Rule is carefully balanced to allow uses and disclosures of information—including mental health information—for treatment and these other purposes with appropriate protections. In this guidance, we address some of the more frequently asked questions about when it is appropriate under the Privacy Rule for a health care provider to share the protected health information of a patient who is being treated for a mental health condition.
Resource: 8 page PDF
Summary: This Administrative Bulletin recognizes the important role families play in the recovery of relative with mental illness and outlines practices which support that role.
Resource: 2 page PDF
Summary: If your family member is at risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system, there are steps you can take to help ensure a positive outcome.
Resource: 45 page PDF
Summary: This guide is intended to assist family members or other individuals who might advocate for a person with a mental illness who has been arrested or is otherwise involved in the New Jersey criminal justice process.
For Medical Professionals Assisting Suicide Attempt Survivors
Resource: 19 page PDF
Summary: The purpose of this brochure is to provide you with some quick tips to enhance care in the ED for people who have attempted suicide, while also providing information on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), patient discharge, and resources about suicide for medical professionals, patients, and their families.
Resource: 16 page PDF
Summary: Suicide Prevention Australia SPA views attempted suicide as a major concern, and believes that the pain associated with many suicide attempts can be alleviated and that further attempts can be prevented.
Resource: Blog Post
Summary: If you are a psychotherapist, it is likely that your graduate studies included precious little training in suicide prevention. You can get that knowledge in other ways.
Resource: 144 page PDF
Summary: The Manual for Support Groups for Suicide Attempt Survivors is primarily intended for facilitators who plan to run an eight-week support group for individuals who have survived a suicide attempt or attempts. A secondary audience is those interested in starting a group.
Facts about people who have attempted suicide
A suicide attempt is the most significant risk factor for further suicidal behavior.
People who survive a suicide attempt are often difficult to engage in follow-up treatment.
About 50 per cent of those who attempt suicide fail to attend any treatment post-discharge.
Another 10 per cent attend only 1 week of treatment.
Of those who attend treatment, 38 per cent terminate treatment within 3 months.
15–25 per cent re-attempt and 5–10 per cent die by suicide.
The highest risk period is 3 months following a suicide attempt.