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If you’re in crisis, here’s where to get help

Florida’s mental health care system saves lives.
Samantha Perez takes a call for someone in need of counseling at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay earlier this year. The center handles calls dealing with suicide, sexual assault, homelessness and other traumatic situations. They also do outreach and counseling, and operate Transcare, an ambulance service. [JONES, OCTAVIO | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Sep. 18
Updated Sep. 18

If you are in crisis or concerned about a loved one, here are some resources that can help:

Suicide prevention resources

  • Crisis Center of Tampa Bay: 2-1-1
  • American Foundation For Suicide Prevention: (212) 363-3500
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Warning signs for suicide

  • History of a diagnosed psychiatric disorder
  • Depression, despair, hopelessness, mood swings
  • Feelings of being a burden to others
  • Having a sense of not belonging
  • Extreme guilt, anxiety, shame or humiliation
  • Losing interest in things, socially isolated
  • Talking about wanting to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves
  • Talking about a specific suicide plan

What to do when someone may be at risk of suicide

  • Tell them specifically what they have said or done that makes you feel concerned about suicide.
  • Don't be afraid to ask whether the person is considering suicide and whether they have a plan.
  • Remove any firearms, drugs or sharp objects that could be used for suicide.
  • Ask if they are seeing a clinician or taking medication so the treating person can be contacted. If not, encourage the person to see a physician or mental health professional immediately.
  • Do not try to argue someone out of suicide; instead, let them know you care, that they are not alone and that they can get help.
  • Avoid preaching with statements, such as "You have so much to live for" or "Your suicide will hurt your family" or "Think about how much better off you are than most people." Such comments can make the suicidal person feel even more worthless or guilty.
  • If the person is threatening, talking about or making specific plans, do not leave the person alone; take the person to a walk-in clinic or a hospital emergency room.

Sources: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay

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