After an attempt
Immediately after an attempt
Maybe you have just returned home from the hospital, or you may be trying to make sense of what led you to consider suicide. The “why” of suicide is complex and answers may not come easy.
Your journey of healing is one that many have been on and survived. Your life matters.
How did I get here?
You may not understand all of the thoughts and feelings that led you to consider suicide, and that’s okay.
Many people who feel suicidal are experiencing a mental health concern, which is treatable. You may also have been experiencing stressful life events, found it difficult to express your feelings, or felt yourself isolating from others.
While you may still have challenges, many people who survive a suicide attempt begin to see those challenges in a new light, and realize that there are people available to support them.
You don’t need to have all of the answers to heal from this experience. There is a way through.
Interacting with family and friends
Sometimes people do not know what to say following a suicide attempt. They may be frightened, confused, or angry, and say things that are not helpful to your recovery. They may also avoid discussing it with you.
They may need time to process what has happened. Their journey is not your journey however, and you are not responsible for how they decide to work through their feelings.
If asked about your attempt, tell people what you are comfortable telling them, or that you need time. Find a therapist or other mental health professional and/or a support group. Enlist the help of family and friends with day-to-day responsibilities for a time, if needed.
Things you can do to support your recovery
You have experienced a significant health event, and just as you would while recovering from any other health concern, you will need time, reflection, and support from others during your recovery.
- Be kind to yourself. You have just survived a life-threatening health crisis and you deserve to take the time you need.
- Take care of your health. Exercising, eating right, getting enough sleep and spending time with healthy people can have a huge impact on your health and mood.
- Find a mental health professional. A good therapist or doctor can help you put this experience in proper perspective. They can also help you develop a safety plan and find ways to address life stressors.
- Understand how to navigate your health insurance. After surviving a life-threatening health crisis, deciphering health insurance bills can be overwhelming. The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) has created a guide to help.
- Try a support group. There are different kinds of support groups, including those for depression and other mental health conditions and for those who have survived a suicide attempt. A group can help you know you are not alone.
- Talk to those you trust. When you’re ready, let them know what happened and that you want them to help you stay safe.
- Join our AFSP community. Whether you visit our website, attend a community presentation, join a volunteer committee, or attend a walk, you will be connected to people who understand the complexity of suicide and want to help prevent it.
Having a safety plan that addresses the following is an essential component of your recovery:
- Recognize what puts you at risk.
- Find coping strategies that do not rely on the presence of others.
- Engage with people and go to places that help take your mind off your problems.
- Reach out to family or friends that can help you in a crisis.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
- Keep your environment safe.
Information for family and friends
If your loved one has made a suicide attempt, it is important that you seek support and take steps to care for yourself and them. Click here to learn how.