Resources for Supporters

Suicide is the second-highest cause of death among Americans aged 15-34, with more than 11,000 deaths per year. These numbers are heartbreaking, but they're also preventable. Learn how to identify the warning signs of suicide and how you can help save lives.


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Recognize Signs & Symptoms

If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, don’t hesitate to seek help right away. 

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), available 24/7.

If you’re in South Dakota, you can reach out to the Helpline Center by dialing 211.

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
  • Making a plan or looking for a way to die by suicide, such as searching online, stockpiling pills, or buying a gun
  • Talking about overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Talking about feeling trapped
  • Feeling unbearable pain (emotional pain or physical pain)
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Taking great risks that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
  • Talking or thinking about death often
  • Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
  • Giving away important possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Putting affairs in order, making a will

5 Action Steps for Helping Someone Facing Suicide Ideation


1. Ask the hard questions. It should never be your first question, but it’s important to ask, “are you considering suicide?” It’s not an easy question, but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are experiencing suicide ideation is not tied to increased suicides or suicidal thoughts. It helps you and them find the help they need.

2. Make safety a priority. Reducing a suicidal person’s access to highly lethal items or places is an important part of suicide prevention. While this is not always easy, asking if the at-risk person has a plan and removing or disabling the lethal means can make a difference.

3. Be present. Listen carefully and learn what the individual is thinking and feeling. Findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal thoughts.

4. Help create a connection. Save the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number in your phone so it’s there when you need it: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also help make a connection with a trusted individual like a family member, friend, spiritual adviser, or mental health professional.

5. Stay connected: Staying in touch after a crisis or after being discharged from care can make a difference. Studies have shown the number of suicide deaths goes down when someone follows up with the at-risk person.


Resources in South Dakota




Suicide is a preventable public health problem. One of the ways to prevent suicide is to talk about it within community.

Local Data

Suicide touches every part of South Dakota. Use an interactive map of the state to click on specific counties or regions to see the most recent data on suicide.

Teacher Training

Educators are powerful role models and can help prevent teen suicides. Several suicide prevention training options are available for free and meet certification requirements. Enroll now.

Follow South Dakota Suicide Prevention / The Helpline Center


National Alliance on Mental Illness | South Dakota



NAMI South Dakota is a non-profit organization dedicated to carrying out the mission to improve the lives of persons affected by mental illness.
The Mission of NAMI South Dakota is to provide education, support, and advocacy for individuals and families impacted by mental illness.
Affiliates are located throughout the state in Aberdeen, BrookingsHuronPierreRapid CitySioux FallsSpearfishWatertownYankton.  There is also a statewide Consumer Council.

NAMI has several resources to educate and help families who are affected by mental illness, including the Family-to-Family course, NAMI Basics, and resources for parents.
Learn more »
Helping middle and high schools students understand mental illness makes a big difference. NAMI can teach them about the warning signs for themselves and their friends. NAMI Ending the Silence helps raise awareness and change perceptions around mental health conditions.
Learn more »
A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable.
Learn more »

Follow NAMI South Dakota