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

  • Suicide Anonymous: The Little Book
    • 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..
  • Support Groups
    • Resource: Webpage
    • 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.
  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance New Jersey
    • Resource: Website
    • 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.
  • NAMI NJ
    • Resource: Website
    • 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.
  • New Jersey Self-Help Group Clearinghouse
    • Resource: Website
    • Resource: 1-800-367-6274
    • 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.
  • Lifeline for Attempt Survivors
    • Resource: Website
    • 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."
  • Suicide Forum
  • Drawing From Life
    • Resource: 30 Minute Video of a Suicide Attempt Support Group
    • 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.
https://sites.google.com/site/sosmadisonnj/suicide-attempt-survivors/Thinking-of-suicide-widget-4-w-disclaimer1.png?attredirects=0

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.

  • Suicide Safety Plan
    • 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.
  • MY3
    • 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.
  • Self Help for Suicidal Feelings
    • 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. "
  • Patient Safety Plan Template
    • Resource: 1 page PDF
    • Summary: Suicide Safety Plan Template
  • Suicide Prevention Wallet Card
    • Resource: 1 page PDF
    • Summary: Wallet card to use during a suicide crisis with important contacts
  • 100 Ways to Get Through The Next 5 Minutes
    • Resource: Webpage
    • 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.
  • Psychiatric Advance Directive
    • Resource: Webpage
    • Resource: 10 page PDF
    • Summary: A Psychiatric Advance Directive allows an individual to specify instructions about his or her mental health care treatment and/or appoint a representative who may make decisions about treatment in the event of a mental health crisis.
  • Suicide: Finding Hope
    • Resource: Website
    • Summary: Numerous articles such as "How do I ask my loved ones for help?" and "Creating a safety plan"
  • Suicide The Forever Decision For those Thinking about Suicide and for Those who Know, Love and Counsel Them
    • 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."
  • Coping With Suicidal Thoughts. I’m seriously thinking about suicide. What should I do?
    • 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
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Taking Care of Yourself

  • Now What Do I Do? Surviving a Suicide Attempt
    • 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.
  • A Journey Towards Help and Hope
    • 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.
  • Next Steps: Getting the Help You Need To Reach Wellness
    • 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.
  • If You Are Thinking About Suicide: Read This First
    • Resource: Website
    • 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.
  • After Your Suicide Attempt: Deciding To Live
    • 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.
  • Finding your way back A resource for people who have attempted suicide
    • 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.
  • Will I Be Committed to a Mental Hospital if I Tell a Therapist about my Suicidal Thoughts?
    • 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

  • Confessions of a Depressed Comic
    • 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."
  • JD Schramm: Break the silence for suicide attempt survivors
    • 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.
  • A Voice At The Table
    • 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.
  • Stories of Hope and Recovery
    • 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.
  • The Terry Wise Story: A Suicide Attempt Survivor
    • 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

  • The Immediate Crisis Is Over, Where Do We Go From Here?
    • 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.
  • 7 Things Attempt Survivors Wish Their Families and Friends Knew
    • Resource: Webpage
    • 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.
  • After a Suicide Attempt: A Guide For Family and Friends
    • 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.
  • How To Ask If Someone is Suicidal
    • 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
  • Information and Support After a Suicide Attempt: A Department of Veterans Affair Resource Guide for Family Members of Veterans Who are Coping with Suicidality
    • 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.
  • Guiding their way back. A resource for people who are supporting someone after a suicide attempt
    • 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

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

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Blogs and Other Sites About Surviving a Suicide Attempt

Psychiatric Emergency and Psychiatric Screening Services

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.

For Medical Professionals Assisting Suicide Attempt Survivors

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.

Source: beyondblue.org.au