Suicide Prevention

Do Not Ignore

“I Wish I Were Dead”

“I Wish I Was Never Born”

Have you heard these words?

Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the US. For 5-14 year olds, it’s the 3rd leading cause of death. Yes! The 3rd leading cause of death of our children ages 5-14!!!  For adolescents (15-24 years old), it’s even worse (2nd leading cause of death). 

Why do our children feel hopeless?

Children and adolescents can experience strong feeling of stress and confusion in today’s world.  Self-doubt, pressure to succeed, financial uncertainty and other fears can threaten their well-being.  Divorce, the formation of a new family with step-parents and step-siblings, or moving to a new community can be very unsettling and can intensify self-doubts.  Suicide may appear to be the only solution to their problems.

The warning signs of suicide are especially noteworthy when there has been a recent death or suicide of a friend or family member, a recent break-up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, conflict with parents, or news reports of other suicides by young people in the same school or community.

Warning signs:

  • Change in eating and sleeping habits.
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities.
  • Violent actions, rebellious behavior, or running away.
  • Drug and alcohol use.
  • Unusual neglect of personal appearance.
  • Marked personality change.
  • Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork.
  • Frequent complaints about physical symptoms, often related to emotions, such as stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, etc.
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities.
  • Not tolerating praise or rewards or complaining of being a bad person or feeling rotten inside.
  • Gives verbal hints: “I won’t be a problem for you much longer”; “Nothing matters”; “It’s no use”; and “I won’t see you again.”
  • Puts his or her affairs in order (gives away favorite possessions, throws away important belongings).
  • Becomes suddenly cheerful after a period of depression.

With Help Comes Hope!

You can help!  Show them you care.  Ask questions:  “I’m worried about you, about how you feel”; “You mean a lot to me. I want to help”; “I am here to talk whenever you need to”; “Are you thinking about suicide?”; “Do you really want to die?”; “Do you want your problems to go away?”

Don’t hesitate to raise the subject! Talking about suicide won’t put the idea in their head.  Chances are, if you’ve observed any of the warning signs, they’re already thinking about it.  Be direct in a caring, non-confrontational way.  Get the conversation started.  Seek assistance from a qualified mental health professional.


  • Take the person seriously
  • Stay with them
  • Help them remove lethal means (e.g., secure all firearms, drugs, medications).
  • Contact a mental health professional (see attachment for additional support services in the area).
  • Call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988
  • Text HOME to 741741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, available 24/7
  • Chat
  • Escort them to mental health services or an emergency room. 

If they refuse to go, contact the police and ask for a health and welfare check.  Tell them your concerns.  If they determine them to be at risk, they will admit them to a facility (e.g. hospital) for stabilization regardless of income or insurance.




The information in this article came from a variety of sources, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic, American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, American Association of Suicidology, and the Family and Youth Services Bureau-Valparaiso, IN.  The information was compiled by Suzann Klett, a member of the Westville United Methodist Church Outreach Committee which is committed to loving and serving the community.  The Westville United Methodist Church located at 154 W Main St, Westville, Indiana 46391.

Local Mental Health Services and Crisis Support Contacts  
Swanson Center 1230 West State Road 2 LaPorte, IN 46350 Regular Hours:  Mon, Tue, Wed, and Fri  8:00 am  – 5:00 pm and Thurs  8:00 am – 7:00 pm Open Access (walk-in to sign up for services):  Wednesday 9:00am – 4:00pm 219-362-2145 After Hours Crisis Line:  219-871-9975
Porter Stark 601 Wall Street Valparaiso, IN Call (219) 531-3500. Regular Hours:  Mon – Thursday: 8:00am-8:00pm and Friday 8:00am-5:00pm Crisis and referral services are available 24-hours a day at 219-531-3500.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (Free) Call anytime or day 24/7(formerly National  Suicide Prevention Lifeline) Call or Text: 988Chat HOME to 741741For Spanish Text: AYUDA to 741741 for Spanish supportFor Deaf or Hard of Hearing:For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.Chat online:
Veterans Affairs (VA) Crisis Line Free, 24/7, confidential help even if you’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care (for military service members, veterans, and family) Call: 800-273-8255 or 988 then PRESS 1Text: 838255Chat and hard of hearing  Call: 800-799-4889Homeless Veterans:  Call
Trevor Project Lifeline (confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ+ youth): Available 24-7 Call: 866-488-7386 Chat online: Text: START to 678-678
Graduate Students – The National Grad Crisis LineCall 1(877) 472-3457 Available 24/7
Youthline  (YouthLine is a free teen-to-teen crisis support and help line.  Teens are available to help daily from 4-10pm PST (adults are available by phone at all other times!) Call: 877-968-8491 Text: teen2teen to 839863 Email:
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