A person may need emergency treatment after a suicide attempt. They may need first aid,
People who try to commit suicide may need to stay in a hospital for treatment and to reduce the risk of future attempts. Therapy is one of the most important parts of treatment.
The condition that may have caused the suicide attempt should be treated. This includes:
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Drug or alcohol dependence
- Major depression
People who are at risk for suicidal behavior may not get treated for many reasons, including:
- They believe nothing will help
- They do not want to tell anyone they have problems
- They think it is a sign of weakness to ask for help
- They do not know where to go for help
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, there are numbers that you can call from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-999-9999.
As with any other type of emergency, call the local emergency number (such as 911) right away if someone you know has attempted suicide. Do not leave the person alone, even after you have called for help.
Always take suicide attempts and threats seriously. About one-third of people who try to commit suicide will try again within 1 year. About 10% of people who threaten or try to commit suicide will eventually kill themselves.
The person needs mental health care right away. Do not dismiss the person as just trying to get attention.
Complications depend on the type of suicide attempt.
Calling your health care provider
Call a health care provider right away if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide.
Review Date: 03/07/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Unviersity of Washington, School of Medicine; and David B. Merrill, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.