Are you or someone you know at risk of suicide? Get the facts and take appropriate action.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, you can get help by contacting Pratt Counseling Services at 718.399.4542 or by stopping by the office in Willoughby Hall, Suite 117; you do not need an appointment and will be attended to immediately. If closed, please call 911 or Campus Security at 718.636.3540. If you are a Pratt student living in an on-campus residence hall, the Resident Assistant (RA) or Resident Director (RD) on duty may also provide assistance during an emergency.

LIFENET Hotline

A 24 hours/day, 7 days/week resource for anyone contemplating suicide is 800.LIFENET (800.543.3638). LIFENET is a confidential, toll-free help-line for New York City residents, operated by the Mental Health Association of New York City (www.mhaofnyc.org) in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The hotline's staff of trained mental health professionals help callers find the most appropriate mental health and substance abuse services for their needs. LIFENET is multilingual and multicultural:

  • In Spanish: 877.AYUDESE en Espanol (877.298.3373)
  • In Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean dialects: (877.990.8585)
  • All other languages: 800.LIFENET (800.543.3638)

LIFENET can assist in a crisis and provide prompt response to callers in urgent need of psychiatric assistance. LIFENET has authorized linkages with 23 mobile crisis teams and Emergency Medical Services.

Getting Help

Be active in seeking professional help. If you are thinking about suicide, it is important that you clearly communicate your thoughts and/or intentions to end your life to someone. Let others know specifically that you are thinking about suicide (e.g. state, "I'm thinking about ending my life"); you may wish that others could figure it out on their own but sometimes the signs are hard to decipher. Let someone know you are contemplating suicide even if you are feeling hopeless—give others the opportunity to intervene before it is too late.

Be Aware of Feelings

Many people at some time in their lives think about suicide. Most decide to live because they eventually come to realize that the crisis is temporary and death is permanent. On the other hand, people having a crisis sometimes perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control. These are some of the feelings and thoughts they experience:

  • Can't stop the pain
  • Can't think clearly
  • Can't make decisions
  • Can't see any way out
  • Can't sleep, eat, or work
  • Can't get out of depression
  • Can't make the sadness go away
  • Can't see a future without pain
  • Can't see themselves as worthwhile
  • Can't get someone's attention
  • Can't seem to get control

If you experience these feelings, get help! If someone you know exhibits these symptoms, offer help!

What Are The Warning Signs For Suicide?

Seek help as soon as possible if you or someone you know exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities—seemingly without thinking
  • Feeling trapped—like there's no way out
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
  • Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life

What to Expect from Treatment

Once you decide to seek help, clearly communicate your thoughts and feelings to a professional who will determine the level of care needed. For Pratt students who seek assistance at Health and Counseling Services, this may include:

  • Emergency follow-up appointments in Health and Counseling
  • Medication evaluation
  • Psychotherapy referral
  • Hospital assessment

It is important that you follow-up on treatment. If medication is prescribed, take it exactly as prescribed.

Ways to be Helpful to Someone Threatening Suicide

  • Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Don't debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don't lecture on the value of life.
  • Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
  • Don't dare him or her to do it.
  • Don't act shocked. This will put distance between you.
  • Don't be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
  • Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
  • Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

Be Aware of the Facts

  • Suicide occurs across ethnic, economic, social and age boundaries.
  • Suicide is preventable. Most suicidal people desperately want to live; they are just unable to see alternatives to their problems.
  • Most suicidal people give definite warning signals of their suicidal intentions, but others are often unaware of the significance of these warnings or unsure what to do about them.
  • Talking about suicide does not cause someone to become suicidal. 

Suicide Prevention Helpful Links and Referrals

Please note: The information above is not intended as a substitute for contact with a mental health professional. Inevitably, some of the information represents opinion. If you read information that raises concerns or questions, we invite you to come in to Counseling Services in Willoughby Hall, Suite 117.