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Preventing Suicide

young woman walking through shallow water

IN CRISIS? TALK NOW.

These helplines are staffed by caring people who are trained to help you. Unless you need assistance from local emergency personnel, your name, location, and conversation will remain confidential. The resources listed below are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


“God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.”

President Thomas S. Monson

Suicide is a serious problem in our homes, schools, churches, and communities. It does not spare people of any race, religion, age group, gender, sexual orientation, or marital status (see World Health Organization). It is a complicated issue that we don’t fully comprehend. There is seldom a single cause or a simple solution. Whether you struggle with thoughts of suicide, know someone who does, or have lost a loved one to suicide, the resources on this site can help. 

Because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement, you can find the strength to endure and the hope to heal. Our Savior understands what you are going through and has promised, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18). Our Heavenly Father has also blessed us with family, friends, Church leaders, and professionals who have unique gifts and abilities to help us address our issues. You are not alone.

Learn more about the Church’s official position on suicide in Gospel Topics.

Sitting on the Bench: Thoughts on Suicide Prevention Experiences with suicide can be traumatic and painful. This video shows that one of the most powerful ways to help is by reaching out in friendship with words of love and encouragement.

Watch more videos.


Each of us has an important role to play in preventing suicide. We call on youth, young adults, parents, friends, and stake and ward leaders around the world to join with others in our communities and take action today.

  • Know the signs. Become familiar with the warning signs of suicide. Visit Befrienders Worldwide or the Mayo Clinic to learn more. 

  • Start talking. Know how to start a conversation with someone you are worried about. Visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for tips on what to say. 

  • Be a friend. Support someone who is struggling by actively listening to their concerns, being nonjudgmental in your comments, and helping them locate resources where they live. Visit Active Minds for more suggestions.


HELP AND SUPPORT

If you are in crisis and feeling unsafe, get help immediately. Call emergency medical services in your area, or talk to someone you trust—such as a family member, friend, bishop, or mental health professional. If you aren’t sure who to talk to, call a free helpline for support. Country-specific helplines are listed at the top of this page.

If you are not in immediate crisis, consider one or more of these ideas: 

  • Talk to someone. Reach out to a friend, family member, Church leader, or suicide-prevention helpline, and tell this person how hard things are for you. Sharing your thoughts with someone can relieve a lot of pressure. Don’t let feelings of embarrassment, fear, or shame stop you.

  • Create a safety plan. Write down some things that you can do whenever you are having thoughts of suicide. The September 2016 Liahona and Ensign, as well as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, include suggestions that you can consider as you write your plan.  

  • Set small goals. Each evening, write down at least one task or goal that you can accomplish the next day. Keep these tasks simple and attainable. Setting small goals and working toward them can help you find a sense of control when everything seems unmanageable. 

  • Find a model of resilience. You may find it helpful to watch or read inspiring stories from people who have faced similar challenges. You can find some of these stories in the LDS Media Library and on Save.org.

  • Trust the Savior. Remember that Jesus Christ is here for you. He understands the pain you are going through more perfectly than you can imagine. Show faith in Him through actions such as kneeling in prayer, asking for a priesthood blessing, and talking to your bishop.

Church and Community Resources

(Some of the resources listed below are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but are provided as additional resources.)

When life’s challenges press you to the point where you feel there is no hope, you need to decide to keep fighting. You can exercise faith in Jesus Christ and try to believe that He made it possible for you to eventually overcome all the challenges you face in mortality. Jesus promised: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). 

While Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are the perfect sources of hope and healing, we are blessed with people and resources to help us along our journey as well. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland reminded us, “Our Father in Heaven expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided in this glorious dispensation” (“Like a Broken Vessel,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 41). These gifts include prayer, fasting, and priesthood blessings; support from family, friends, and professionals—including appropriate medications; and adequate exercise and improved nutrition. Consider what will be most helpful in your situation and take action now.

President Thomas S. Monson explained: “Some of you may at times have cried out in your suffering, wondering why our Heavenly Father would allow you to go through whatever trials you are facing. … Our mortal life, however, was never meant to be easy or consistently pleasant. … Each one of us experiences dark days when our loved ones pass away, painful times when our health is lost, feelings of being forsaken when those we love seem to have abandoned us. These and other trials present us with the real test of our ability to endure” (“Joy in the Journey,” Brigham Young University Women’s Conference, May 2, 2008). 

Church and Community Resources

(Some of the resources listed below are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but are provided as additional resources.)

Thoughts of suicide are a reflection of mental and emotional trauma, not a weakness of character. Challenge your feelings of shame and embarrassment. Don’t believe everything you think. Even righteous people, like Paul and other ancient prophets, have felt weighed down and in deep distress (see Numbers 11:14–15; 1 Kings 19:4; Philippians 1:21–24). You do not need to bear this alone. 

Reaching out to explain what you are going through will bring relief and added perspective to the challenges you are facing. You can begin the conversation by talking about the following: 

  • How long you have been thinking about suicide
  • How you first noticed these feelings
  • Whether these feelings come and go or are more constant
  • Whether you are taking any medication or using drugs or alcohol

If you aren’t sure who to talk to, call a free helpline for support. (Country-specific resources are listed at the top of this page.)

Church and Community Resources

(Some of the resources listed below are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but are provided as additional resources.)

Some suicides happen with little or no warning. At other times, there are signs that indicate a person needs help. While suicide is a complex issue and there is no single cause, you may save a life if you learn to recognize warning signs. Some of the most common warning signs include: 

  • Talking about wanting to die or killing themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a weapon
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing their use of alcohol or drugs
  • Giving away personal items for no reason
  • Acting anxious or agitated or behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings 

Source: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Church and Community Resources

(Some of the resources listed below are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but are provided as additional resources.)

This is a common myth—research shows that talking to someone about suicide does not increase the likelihood of an attempt. 

Find a time and place where you can both feel safe to talk. Tell your friend that you genuinely care about them. Acknowledge what you’ve observed lately, such as, “You seem so unhappy lately.” Allow time for them to open up. Don’t dismiss or argue with how they feel. When the time seems right, ask them directly if they are considering suicide by saying something such as, “Are you thinking about taking your life?” 

Asking someone directly if they are considering suicide helps reduce the stigma associated with suicidal thoughts and feelings, which then increases their opportunities for getting the help they need. Reassure them that you care about them, that they are valued, and that God loves and values them regardless of their current struggles. Help them see that “[they] are infinitely more than [their] limitations or [their] afflictions” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Like a Broken Vessel,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 42). 

Church and Community Resources

(Some of the resources listed below are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but are provided as additional resources.)

Don’t wait to act! If your loved one is having suicidal thoughts, offer to help them create a safety plan (see resource links below) or help them talk to their family, their bishop, or a professional who can help. You can’t do this alone, and you should not be their only support. If they are uncomfortable talking to someone they know, encourage them to contact a suicide helpline. You may want to add the contact information for a local crisis helpline to your phone so it’s easy to find if you need it. (Country-specific resources are listed at the top of this page.) 

Respect their wishes for privacy, but do not promise confidentiality or secrecy—their life is at stake! Make sure that you tell a trusted family member, a Church leader, or someone else who can help. Their safety is more important than their comfort. 

If they deny thoughts or feelings of suicide and you still believe there is a risk, discuss your concerns with someone who can help arrange an evaluation for their safety, such as a family member, a bishop, a mental health professional, or emergency medical services.

Church and Community Resources

(Some of the resources listed below are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but are provided as additional resources.)

Sadly, despite your best efforts, suicide is not always preventable. Guilt seems to be an emotion universal to all survivors of suicide, and overcoming it might be your greatest obstacle on the path to healing. You are not responsible for your loved one’s choice to end their life.

“Parents need to remind themselves that, while they have great influence over their children’s lives, they do not personally create every aspect of their children’s being. . . . From their earliest years, children are shaped by an assortment of outside influences [and internal conditions] beyond the control of parents. Even children and teenagers have to bear responsibility for their actions. 

“Spouses also tend to feel acutely guilty for a suicide. The natural partnership that comprises marriage implies a mutual responsibility to look after each other. But spouses need to realize that the root causes of suicide—notably clinical depression—are beyond the control of even the most devoted husband or wife” (Jeffrey Jackson, SOS: A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide [American Association of Suicidology], yourlifecounts.org).

These principles also apply to a child whose parent dies from suicide—the child is not to blame for their parent's suicide.

If you are having significant difficulty dealing with your loved one’s passing, seek help from your bishop or a mental health professional in your community. 

Church and Community Resources

(Some of the resources listed below are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but are provided as additional resources.)

Elder M. Russell Ballard said, “The act of taking one’s life is truly a tragedy because this single act leaves so many victims: first the one who dies, then the dozens of others—family and friends—who are left behind, some to face years of deep pain and confusion” (“Suicide: Some Things We Know, and Some We Do Not,Ensign, Oct. 1987, 7).

The Savior has promised that you can find the peace that “passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) as you seek His help in your grieving process. Be aware that some people will listen and communicate better than others, and even well-meaning individuals may make insensitive or judgmental remarks. Try to recognize the love and comfort they intend rather than taking offense.

As a suicide survivor, you may be struggling with intense feelings of shock, guilt, anger, or confusion. How you cope with this tragedy will greatly influence your overall emotional health. Prayerfully consider and use the resources and support available to you. Examples include seeking priesthood blessings, attending the temple, counseling with your bishop or a mental health professional, attending a support group for survivors, reading literature, and practicing relaxation techniques.

Church and Community Resources

(Some of the resources listed below are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but are provided as additional resources.)

One of the difficult decisions after a suicide is what to tell others, including children. There is a tendency to want to keep the circumstances of the death a secret as a protection to yourself or others, but sharing the truth in a straightforward way can be the most healing approach. Use good judgment in how much information you share with others and when. Be aware that some people will listen and communicate better than others, and even well-meaning individuals may make insensitive or judgmental remarks. Try to recognize the love and comfort they intend rather than taking offense.

Child grief experts teach that children need to be told the truth about suicide in a way they can understand according to their age. Let children talk about and remember the person who died, and allow for complicated emotions and differing grieving styles. Let children know that you are available to talk about their questions and help them process their grief. You may want to consult with a child counseling professional to help in this process.

President George Q. Cannon reminded us of a constant source of support when he said: “No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so]. … He will [always] stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and purer for them” (quoted in Jeffrey R. Holland, “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You,Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 127).

Church and Community Resources

(Some of the resources listed below are not created, maintained, or controlled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but are provided as additional resources.)