I'm worried about _______.  What should I do?

For non-emergency situations, call the Utah County Life Line (801-691-LIFE).  All suicide or other emergency calls which are received by the Life Line will now be referred or transferred live, to the UTAH CRISIS LINE located at the University of Utah (801-587-3000). The Life Line helps educate the community about suicide prevention through community outreach presentations and education.

Crisis Intervention

If you find yourself in crisis situation with an individual, it can be helpful to understand the basics of crisis intervention theory.  

  1. Make sure the person is safe. Don't be afraid to ask if they are feeling suicidal--asking a suicidal individual if they have been thinking about suicide is not going to "give them the idea."

  2. Establish rapport. Make sure they know you care about them, that you respect them, and that you will not judge them. Help them understand there is help for the problems they are experiencing.

  3. Define the problem. Focus on the here and now, and help them identify the event that brought them to this moment. This is called the "precipitating event."

  4. Explore feelings and emotions. Allow the person to vent and express his or her emotions, and actually listen. Don't interrupt, or tell them how to feel. You're not a therapist, so don't feel like you need to tell them how to solve their problem; you just need to be there for them.

  5. Explore past coping attempts. Help them see how their current attempts at coping are ineffective, and why. This may be very easy for you to see but may not be for the individual in crisis.

  6. Generate and explore options. Help the individual come up with alternative coping mechanisms. Don't tell them what to do; help them generate their own alternatives.

  7. Implement an action plan. Where can they go for help? Why did what happened upset them, and how can this be overcome?

The Action Plan phase is the perfect time to suggest that the individual go and see a professional, in order to continue the healing process.  Crisis intervention is not meant to be a long term solution; it is meant to keep an individual safe in the moment and to assist them in seeking long term care.

Warning SIgns

Understanding and recognizing warning signs can help prevent a crisis.  The more we watch out for each other, the safer we all are.

Depression and Suicide

  • Poor appetite of overeating

  • Low energy or fatigue

  • Feelings of hopelessness

  • Engaging in self harm or risky behavior

  • Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions

  • Sleeping less or sleeping too much

  • Low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness or dependancy

  • Withdrawing from others

  • Talking softly and slowly

  • Mention of giving things away

  • Sentimental talk, as if saying "good-bye"

  • Previous suicide attempts

  • Trying to finalize plans for home, kids, finances, cars, pets, possessions, etc.

  • Phrases such as:

    • "I just can't do it anymore"

    • "There's nothing to live for"

    • "It's hopeless, there's no point"

    • "I'm making a difficult decision"

    • "I'm scared about what I have to do"

    • "No one cares about me or what I do"