Understanding Suicidal Thoughts

Ashley Kimbrough

Suicidal thoughts, tendencies, and ideation as well as other types of non-suicidal self-injury like cutting, self-mutilation, and other dissociative behavior, are technically mental health problems.

But they’re so complex, it’s helpful to call them into a separate category as people with no history of mental health problems can still experience thoughts of suicide.

Suicide is the loss of hope—something we’ve all likely experienced at some point.

By affirming the value of every life, we can love and lead people to the other side—a hope-filled life in Christ.

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Help Others

"Through therapy and research, I now know it is not shameful to have suicidal thoughts.
I am not broken or messed up because I have them. It took me a long time to realize this,
and it is my hope that you can also realize this and get help."
- Ashley Kimbrough, Sober Truth Project

Suicide Statistics:

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • In 2019, 47,511 Americans died by suicide
  • In 2019, there were over a million suicide attempts

What can you do if you have suicidal thoughts?

  • Establish a support system. Maybe a best friend, therapist, or psychiatrist. Someone you can speak to about it without feeling judgment. You can also find groups of people who are experiencing similar struggles, which may be easier than talking to someone who hasn’t opened up about suicidal thoughts or does not struggle with them.

  • Create a safety plan. Lay out some safeguards or methods: Make sure you are not alone. Remove objects you could harm yourself with. Create distractions. Think of reasons to live. Pick up the phone to talk to someone. 


  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call [Please enable javascript.]
  • Crisis Text Line:Text "HOME" to 741741
  • IMAlive: A virtual crisis center that has trained volunteers for immediate support. (imalive.org)
  • Veteran Crisis Line: Call [Please enable javascript.] or text 838255

We help you help others overcome suicidal thoughts and ideation.

What can you do if someone you know may have suicidal thoughts or confides in you about their suicidal thoughts?

  • Directly ask them: Are you thinking of killing yourself?
    People are more likely to talk about it if they are asked directly. If they are having thoughts, ask them if they have a plan and if they feel they will act on these thoughts.
  • Do not judge them; be empathetic.
    Try to identify with their situation and don’t downplay how they’re feeling, even if you feel it’s illogical. Use kind, understanding language and listen more than you talk.
  • Listen and encourage them.
    Help them to focus on getting through the day. Ask them to talk about the reasons they have for living. Remind them that the bad feelings will not last forever. If they have not already, encourage them to get professional help.
  • Check in on them.
    Do weekly check-ins to see how they’re doing. Let them know you’re still here for them, even if you can’t be the one to help lead them through their recovery journey.

*If someone indicates that they may do something to end their life, call 911.



National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call [Please enable javascript.]

Crisis Text Line: Text "HOME" to 741741

IMAlive: A virtual crisis center that has trained volunteers for immediate support. 

Veteran Crisis Line: Call [Please enable javascript.] or text 838255