You’ve seen the viral Facebook posts: “1-800-273-8255. National suicide prevention hotline. You are never alone, and suicide isn’t the answer.” Or maybe, “Could 1 friend please copy and repost (not share)? We are trying to demonstrate that someone’s always listening. #SuicideAwareness.”
Hashtag activism is all fine and dandy, and 800-273-8255 really is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, but what are our local resources? Where do Houston area residents turn if they need discreet, personal, and local counseling and crisis help? We did some digging and found you some resources.
If you or someone you know is currently in danger, please dial 911 immediately.
Houston Crisis Phone Numbers:
Kristin Brooks Hope Center
Suicide Hotline: (800) 784-2433
Since the suicide of his wife Kristin in April 1998, KBHC Founder Reese Butler has made it his life’s mission to offer help and hope, and the option to live, to those in the deepest emotional pain.
Mobile Crisis Outreach Team
Call the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 713-970-7520 or the MHMRA Helpline at 713-970-7070. If all MCOT workers are in the field, your referral will be taken by an MHMRA HelpLine caseworker that will notify an MCOT clinician immediately.
The Montrose Center for Gay & Lesbian Houston
LGBT 24hr Helpline: (713) 529-3211
Houston Police Department
Texas Suicide Prevention
Crisis Help Line: 1-800-273-8255
Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD
24-hr Crisis Hotline: 713-970-7000
The following abridged information is courtesy of The Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance:
Are you feeling suicidal? Is someone you know considering suicide? Here are some warning signs:
- Overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, despair, worthlessness, and self-doubt.
- Making end of life plans, preparing wills, and giving away valued possessions.
- Discussing suicide methods, purchasing weapons, or collecting large quantities of medication.
- Drug or alcohol use may cause or intensify impulsive behaviors.
- Cutting off social connections with friends, family, quitting job.
- A person who was recently feeling upset or hopeless suddenly seems very calm and settled. It might be a sign that he or she has decided on a plan to complete suicide.
Are you feeling suicidal?
- Talk to your doctor if you are contemplating suicide. Whether your feelings are in response to overwhelming life circumstances, or a medically diagnosable cause, your doctor can offer advice and medication that will get you through this difficult season.
- Remember that this is just a phase; a season of depression that will come to an end. You will be happy again. Don’t make any life-changing decisions while you’re depressed.
- Don’t let fear or embarrassment stand in the way of communication with your physician, therapist, counselor, or pastor. Communicate your feelings immediately. Talking will help.
- Try not to be alone when you feel this way. Tell a trusted family member, friend, or other support person, and let them come visit so you’re not trapped by yourself with your pain.
- Know that you can get through this. Should you be diagnosed with a mood disorder, you will learn to manage the symptoms and enjoy life again.
- Promise yourself that you will hold on for another day, or whatever it takes so that you can get help.
Have a Suicide Prevention Plan
It’s very helpful to have a safety plan ready before thoughts of suicide occur.
- Make a Plan for Life. Plan out your goals, plan to stay alive, and follow it!
- Stay in contact with your doctor. Always have your doctor’s phone number with you, as well as a suicide hotline number.
- Stay in contact with trusted friends. Develop a list of phone numbers of friends you trust and keep it with you.
- Recognize symptoms for what they are. Remember that feelings are not facts. Suicidal feelings are not your fault and they are nothing to be ashamed of.
- Write down your thoughts. Spend time each day writing down things and people that you appreciate and that bring you joy. Refer to this when you feel down, sad, or suicidal.
- Use a mood tracker and share this information with your doctor.
- Connect with other people socially. When you are feeling suicidal, don’t be alone for long periods of time. Seek trusted friends. Don’t isolate yourself by only interacting on Facebook or social media. Make face to face contact.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Consumption of drugs and alcohol can lead to actions that could be very dangerous.
- Know when it’s best to go to the hospital. Ask for help if you need it!
- If you have insurance, call the number on the back of your card for providers. Keep a list with you so that you have the information on hand so you don’t have to search for it when you’re depressed.
- Keep yourself safe. Make sure you don’t have access to guns or weapons.
- Be patient with yourself. Give yourself time to get better. Remember, this is just a season. You will get through this.