During the winter holidays, it is common to spend time with friends and family you may not otherwise see often. During the holiday party or family meal, you may notice someone isn’t acting like himself or herself. If you notice a friend or family member who is: abusing substances, sleeping abnormally–either too much or too little, or, not participating socially as is his/her norm, have a frank conversation.
Remember to ACT: Ask, Care, Treat
A: Ask directly, “How are you feeling?” And if you are concerned ask, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”
C: Care. Listen to what the person has to say without interrupting or trying to nullify their feelings.
T: Treat. Get the person help.
The ACT model is used by the US Navy as a reminder for how to reach out to those who may be struggling and unsure of how to ask for help. If the person you are concerned about has a plan to die by suicide, do not leave him/her alone. If necessary, call 9-1-1 or the crisis line for help. It is important this person receive immediate care.
Find the Arizona crisis line listed on the AHCCCS Crisis web page or below:
In Maricopa County (served by Mercy Care): 1-800-631-1314 or 602-222-9444
Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz and Yuma Counties (served by Arizona Complete Health – Complete Care Plan): 1-866-495-6735
Apache, Coconino, Gila, Mohave, Navajo and Yavapai Counties (served by Steward Health Choice Arizona): 1-877-756-4090
Gila River and Ak-Chin Indian Communities (served by EMPACT): 1-800-259-3449
Having the courage to ask how a person is feeling emotionally, and then truly listening to the response, can save lives. Help is available 24 hours a day at the National Suicide Prevention line by calling 1-800-273-TALK.
If you have questions about suicide prevention resources in Arizona, or are interested in becoming involved in this work statewide, contact the Suicide Prevention Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.