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How Should I Handle a Situation that Involves the Threat of Suicide?

McDivitt Cares about Suicide AwarenessDuring September, which is National Suicide Prevention Month, McDivitt and our community program – McDivitt Makes a Difference recognizes the importance of promoting awareness, education, and prevention. It is important for us to help equip anyone who might encounter someone who is in danger of taking his or her own life with some basic tools that can offer assistance in these circumstances. The reality is that anyone can find themselves in a situation that involves suicide. A review of the following information is one of the first steps towards prevention.

We hope you will review the following guidelines provided by the National Suicide Prevention Team and keep the McDivitt Suicide Guide/Resource print-out in a drawer, on your refrigerator, or even in the glove compartment of your vehicle as a tool that you have easy access to if you ever find yourself in a situation where you can make a difference.

The National Suicide Prevention Team says,

Ask, Listen, Refer”

The first step in suicide prevention is to ASK some key questions of the person who is threatening the act.  Please note that while these are hard questions, they have been proven to be the RIGHT questions.

  • Have you attempted suicide before?
  • Do you have a plan?
  • Do you have what you need to carry out your plan?
  • What keeps you from doing it?

Getting them to talk and then listening is a key first step. Responding with “I don’t want you to commit suicide – let’s get you some help on the telephone now,” will hopefully allow you additional time and an opportunity to get the experts involved. The following are Suicide Prevention Hotline numbers in our area: Colorado Springs (719-635-7000), Denver (303-602-7220) and Pueblo (719-584-4017). The national number is 1-800-273-8255(TALK).

If you do not have the capability to conference a third party on the line or if the party threatening suicide is unwilling to call for help and you question their well-being, call 911 and request a welfare check or dial 1-800-273-8255(TALK) the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for assistance. It is important to get the experts involved. These professionals will immediately respond and are trained to handle these situations with the best possible outcome as their primary focus.

Are You Experiencing Thoughts of Suicide?

Sometimes suicide is not something someone you know is dealing with, it is a personal struggle. If you are feeling depressed or have considered suicide for any reason and need someone to talk to, we encourage you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255(TALK). You can also access their website at to obtain a comprehensive list of resources, support, and treatment options. These resources cover a wide variety of services that help with suicide directly, as well as underlying issues such as alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), just to name a couple. You are not alone.

A threat to commit suicide or thoughts of suicide is never something to ignore. If you have additional questions, or would like to talk to the professionals for more information, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255(TALK) or visit their website at

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