Suicide Prevention

If you have suicidal thoughts, don’t be ashamed! Suicidal ideas and attempts are more common than you think, especially among those who have been through trauma. In order to avoid an irreversible action, immediate intervention is needed. The support of other people and having/the preparation of an emergency plan can help.

What to do if you’re in a crisis?

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts and urges, ask for help!

If you are in Iraq: Call 80069999 or Text TALK to 741741.

Otherwise find a suicide helpline in your country of residence

Warning signs of suicidal risk

The behaviors listed below may be some of the signs that someone is thinking about suicide. If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, particularly if the behaviour is new or has increased recently.

Talking about:

  • Wanting to die
  • Intense guilt or shame
  • Being a burden to others


  • Empty, hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live
  • Extremely sad, more anxious, agitated, or full of rage
  • Unbearable emotional or physical pain

Changing behaviour:

  • Planning or researching ways to die
  • Withdrawing from friends, saying goodbye, giving away important items, or making a will
  • Taking dangerous risks such as driving extremely fast
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Eating or sleeping more or less
  • Using drugs or alcohol more often

Emergency plan against suicide

  • Identify risks: what are your warning signs of a potential risk?
  • Think about the things that you can do to get distracted and to cope:
      • On your own. What activities can you do to take your mind off your problems, even for a short period of time? What can you do not to act on your thoughts and urges?
      • With other people/socially. What people or places can help you distract yourself from suicidal thoughts or urges?
  • Think about people you can ask for help in case of a crisis:
      • Friends and family. Among your family members and family, who do you think you could contact in case of a crisis? What would you need to tell them?
      • Professionals and services. Which mental health professional should be on your safety plan? Which services may be able to help if you are having a crisis?
  • Think about measures to make your environment safe.

This exercise is more effective if you write down your answers. You can save your notes and use them as a safety plan/reminder when you are in a situation of crisis.

What to do if you think someone is at risk of suicide

  • Ask. Ask the person about their intention without judging. Do not make it a taboo.
  • Keep them safe. Help them stay away from dangerous objects and places.
  • Be there. Listen carefully and acknowledge their feelings.
  • Help them connect. Look for available services and connect the person. E.g., write down the suicide helpline number and share it with the suicidal person.
  • Stay connected. Follow up and periodically check on the person after the crisis.

For more resources on suicide prevention please click on the links below

How The 5 Steps Can Help Someone Who is Suicidal - #BeThe1To

NIMH » Suicide Prevention (