Suicide and Self-Harm

Suicidal ideation refers to thinking about, considering, or planning suicide. The prevalence of serious suicidal thoughts is highest among adults aged 18-25  at 10.5%. Suicide is the 10th leading overall cause of death in the U.S., yet it is the 2nd leading cause of death amongst those under 24 years of age.

Self-harm can take the form of hurting oneself on purpose, usually as a way of coping with negative emotions, life events, and more. For those who self-harm, it can be seen as a way to have control over their body when they can’t control anything else in their life.

The number one way to prevent suicide and self-harm is to speak to a trusted source if you are worried someone is showing signs of either. You can do this with the help of Friends For Life.  In the event of an emergency, call 911!

Did you know?

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people aged 10-24.
  • Texas has a suicide rate of 13.7 per 100,000 resident.
  • In 2017, Tarrant County’s suicide rate was 12.3 per 100,000 residents with a total of 257 suicides.
  • Males have a much higher rate of suicide in every age group compared to females.
  • Approximately 15% of teens report some form of self-injury. Among college students, rates range from 17%-35%.
  • The most common form of self-harm is skin cutting.

Myths and Misconceptions:

Myth: People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.

  • Almost everyone who attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Don’t ignore even indirect references to death or suicide.

Myth: Anyone who tries to kill themselves must be crazy.

  • Suicidal people are most often not insane or psychotic. However, they may be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing.

Myth: If someone is determined to kill themselves, nothing is going to stop them.

  • Rather than wanting death, they just want the pain to stop—and the impulse to end their life does not last forever. 

Myth: People who die by suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.

  • Studies indicate that more than 50 percent of suicide victims had sought medical help in the six months prior to their deaths.

Myth: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.

  • Talking about suicide does not give someone suicidal ideas. However, the opposite is usually true; talking openly and honestly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can help save a life.

Myth: People who self-harm are suicidal or are trying to commit suicide.

  • Self-harming is a more frequent, yet less severe way of coping with pain, sadness, anger, and other emotions done to actually avoid suicidal impulses. However, self-harm is a coping mechanism that may evolve into or accidentally become suicide.

Signs of Suicide

  • Look out for these signs of suicide, especially if the person has a history of depression or other mental health problems:
    • Dramatic personality change and/or problems with relationships.
    • Problems concentrating or focusing.
    • Acting in a rebellious manner or engaging in more risky behavior.
    • Present stressful life events such as interpersonal losses, legal or disciplinary crises, or changes for which they feel unprepared to cope with.
    • Running away from home.
    • Abusing drugs and/or alcohol.
    • Changes in eating, sleeping patterns, or appearance.
    • Giving away prized possessions.
    • Talking about suicide, even in a joking manner.
  • If you suspect that a someone might be thinking about suicide, DO NOT remain silent. Suicide is preventable, but you must act quickly.

Signs of Self-Harm

  • Warning signs that someone may be injuring themselves include:
    • Unexplained frequent injuries including cuts and burns.
    • Low self-esteem.
    • Difficulty handling feelings.
    • Relationship problems or avoidance of relationships.
    • Poor functioning at work, school or home.

What to do

  • Ask questions and don’t be afraid to say the word "suicide."
  • Do your best to make sure the person is not alone for long periods of time.
  • Reassure them that you care about them and their problems.
  • Remind them that no matter how difficult their problems seem, they can be worked out.
  • Ask the student to talk about their feelings. Make sure to listen carefully and do not judge or dismiss their problems.
  • For students, suggest that they visit the Student Support Services personnel on your campus (school counselor, intervention specialist or LSSP).
  • Leave an anonymous Friends for Life tip by calling our tipline (817-469-8477), using the “Submit a Friends for Life Tip” button, or using the “CCS FFL” mobile app.


  • Depression Connection for Recovery
  • FWISD Family Resource Centers
    • 817-814-2870
    • Locations:
      • FRC Northside
        • 2011 Prospect Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76106
        • 817-740-4511
      • FRC Forest Oak
        • 3250 Pecos, Fort Worth, TX 76119
        • 817-531-4680
      • FRC Riverside
        • 1550 Bolton, Fort Worth, TX 76111
        • 817-222-7577
      • FRC Western Hills
        • 8340 Mojave Trail, Fort Worth, TX 76111
        • 817-560-5200
  • LGBT National Help Center
  • Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County
    • 3136 W. 4th St., Fort Worth, TX 76107
    • 817-927-5299 |
    • Refers to MHMR Hotline for crisis intervention resources.
  • MHMR Tarrant County 
  • NAMI Crisis Text Line
    • 3136 W. 4th St., Fort Worth, TX 76107
    • 817-332-6677 |
    • Text NAMI to 741-741
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline
    • 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
    • Provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas
  • The Trevor Project (LGBTQ Youth)