United Way of Southeast Louisiana partner agencies provide a variety of mental health and substance abuse counseling services that can help prevent suicide.

The regional United Way also funds “Teen Life Counts.” This Jewish Family Services prevention and awareness program trains teachers as well as middle and high school students to spot suicide warning signs.

Among the warning signs of suicide are:

Thinking or talking about suicide

Substance use or abuse

No sense of purpose or belonging

Anger

Feeling like there is no way out

Feeling there is nothing to live for, no hope or optimism

Withdrawal from family, friends, work, school, activities, hobbies

Anxiety (restlessness, irritability, agitation)

Recklessness (high risk-taking behavior)

Looking for ways to die (Internet searches for how to commit suicide, looking for guns, pills, etc.)

Statements about hopelessness, helplessness or worthlessness

Preoccupation with death

Dramatic changes in mood

Suddenly happier, calmer

Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order

Giving things away, such as prized possessions

Last year, VIALINK provided Helpline counseling to 7,400 people and connected more than 2,100 callers to area outpatient mental health services and mental health facilities.

By dialing 211, VIALINK offers emergency crisis counseling/suicide prevention for anyone with a 504, 985 or 337 area code calling (800) 273-TALK (8255).

Other agencies with programs focused on suicide prevention are: