• Keep a journal to write down your thoughts. Each day write about your hopes for the future and the people you value in your life. Read what you’ve written when you need to remind yourself why your own life is important.
  • Go out with friends and family. When we are well, we enjoy spending time with friends and family. When we’re depressed, it becomes more difficult, but it is still very important. It may help you feel better to visit, or allow visits from, family and friends who are caring and can understand.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. Most deaths by suicide result from sudden, uncontrolled impulses. Since drugs and alcohol contribute to such impulses, it’s essential to avoid them. Drugs and alcohol also interfere with the effectiveness of medications prescribed for depression.
  • Learn to recognize your earliest warning signs of suicidal feelings. There are often subtle warning signs your body will give you when an episode is developing. As you learn to manage your health, you’ll learn how to be sensitive to them. They are signals to treat yourself with the utmost care, instead of becoming ashamed or angry with yourself.

Watch the Protective Factors to Help Prevent Suicide Course Video