A call to the health care provider or to 911 is warranted when someone admits to suicidal ideation. That is, if someone actively wishes his or her own death, then evaluation by a medical professional is absolutely essential.
Any form of suicidal ideation — actively wishing one's own death—should prompt immediate evaluation by a medical professional.
By the time someone admits to having a thought or plan to end one's life, the person may have already initiated the plan.
Professionals often speak of a "suicidal gesture."
Many people make gestures that are unintentionally lethal.
concerns that the person might be depressed or have other difficulties, then home care is not appropriate.
A concerned friend or partner should inquire directly about thoughts of suicide.
Persons who actually attempt suicide need close psychiatric follow-up and counseling.
Keeping follow-up appointments in the case of suicidal thoughts is so important that the referring health care provider will likely contact the consultant before discharging the person from the office or the emergency department.
Suicidal thoughts can be prevented by following the recommendations of the health care provider. Whether treatment is recommended or
medications and counseling are suggested or not, following through on treatment is the best means of prevention.
Suicidal thoughts can be frightening, and they can indicate a serious illness. People with
depression or other forms of mental illness are not weak-willed. They have a real disease. Real
medications are usually successful in treatment.
If you feel that someone is depressed, ask. If you are concerned that someone might be considering suicide, ask. If someone volunteers to you that they are thinking about suicide, please listen. It might be the only cry for help they utter.
The outcome for a person experiencing suicidal thoughts depends on the cause of the thoughts.