Suicide & Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) immediately to be connected to a network of resources and crisis services.

Suicide is a major health issue in Texas. Our state lost over 2,800 residents to suicide in 2010. Identifying and addressing suicide risk and behaviors are essential in preventing suicide. Further, there is no single “cause” of suicide; it is a combination of biological, psychological and social factors that contribute to suicidal tendencies. It is important to know and understand these risk factors and warning signs so we can work together to reduce deaths by suicide in Texas.


Eight out of ten people who die by suicide give some sort of a warning or clue to others, even if it is something subtle. According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Warning Signs for Suicide Prevention fact sheet, some of these warning signs and the actions you should take include:

Call 9-1-1 or seek immediate help from a mental health provider when you hear or see any one of these behaviors:

  • Someone threatening to hurt or kill themselves
  • Someone looking for ways to kill themselves: seeking access to pills, weapons, or other means
  • Someone talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
  • Seek help by contacting a mental health professional or calling 1-800-273-TALK for a referral should you witness, hear, or see anyone exhibiting any one or more of these behaviors:
  • Hopelessness
  • Rage, anger, 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 or society
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep, or sleeping all the time
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life


  • Family history of suicide
  • History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people
  • Physical illness
  • Family history of child maltreatment
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Cultural and religious beliefs (e.g., belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma)
  • Local epidemics of suicide
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Loss (relational, social, employment of financial)
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or to suicidal thoughts


Texas has developed a comprehensive, state-wide approach to suicide prevention. The Texas Department of State Health Services in partnership with the Texas Suicide Prevention Council provide a wide array of suicide prevention information and training to assist local communities in suicide prevention initiatives. More information about this important work can be found at



Texas Suicide Prevention Fact Sheet: Hispanic Americans


Mental Health America of Texas:  Coming Together to Care: A Suicide Prevention and Postvention Toolkit for Texas Communities

SAMHSA Promoting Emotional Health and Preventing Suicide: a Toolkit for Senior Communities

SAMHSAPreventing Suicide:  A Toolkit for High Schools



If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).


American Association of Suicidology

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
888.333.AFSP (2377)

Texas Suicide Prevention

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)