Finding Hope through the Darkness
The word attempt means different things to different people. Whatever that means to you, we’re glad you’re here. This page is meant to support you as a survivor of a suicide attempt.
If you know someone who has survived a suicide attempt, this page might give you insight into what that might be like for them. Use this as a stepping stone to conversations about how you can support them.
Hope is Possible
The Journey to Recovery
Recovery is a journey during which you may have many thoughts and feelings, from shame to hope and everything in between. After an attempt, you may see your life in a new perspective or you may feel overwhelmed about what your future holds. You could also be angry to have survived. Moving through these emotions is not a linear process. There will be ups and downs and steps backward along the way, but recovery is possible.
Wherever you are in your journey and however you’re feeling, you are not alone. Many have traveled the road of recovery before you, and many walk beside you now. Whether it’s a community of other survivors, crisis resources, mental health support, friends, or family, support is here for you.
Suicide attempt surivors tell Today what went through their minds in what they expected to be their final moments and what it’s like to return to a life they tried to end.
You've Survived a Significant Health Event
Suicide is a health crisis, no different than a heart attack or stroke. In a suicidal crisis, your brain is physically unable to see a way through the pain, emptiness, or exhaustion. This is a neurological state that defies our natural survival instinct. Like any other health crisis, recovery takes time and attention. In addition to the impact the attempt itself can have on your life, there may also be mental illness, grief, trauma, isolation, circumstances, and ongoing suicidal thoughts to tend to in your recovery. Give yourself compassion and patience, and seek out the services and resources that will best support your wellbeing.
Counselor tip: You belong to a community of suicide attempt survivors. Their stories can offer you strategies and hope.
Support your recovery journey with tools, stories, and strategies that others have used to recover from a suicide attempt. Learn ways to keep yourself safe and read stories that show you there is hope.
Your Story Belongs to You
There's No Right or Wrong Way to Tell Your Story
Processing a suicide attempt demands a lot of energy, thought, and emotion. Take it at your own pace and get support when you need it. If and when you’re ready to share your story, remember: Who you tell, what you say, and how you say it are all up to you. Any time something significant happens in our lives, we have the right to choose where it fits in our life story and who we share it with.
Every Story is Different
It's okay to talk about suicide. Asking about suicide and talking openly about it saves lives. Hear what these suicide attempt survivors have to say.
Suicide Attempt Survivor Portraits and True Stories
Survivors on Live Through This say that it's important for suicide attempt survivors to know there's hope after an attempt and that you're not alone. They share their stories for solidarity, support, and the hope to change the conversation about suicide. They want you to know that they've been there too. Read their stories of compassion, resilience, and survival.
The Elements of Recovery
Everyone Has Mental Health. You Deserve to Take Care of Yours.
Wherever you are in your recovery journey, take the actions, use the tools, and find the people that support your mental health. What you need will likely change from one day to the next. Give yourself the space to check in on how you're doing and the encouragement to take care of yourself.
Connect with Mental Health Care
Mental health care with someone you trust is an essential part of recovery after a suicide attempt. Take the time to find a counselor, therapist, and/or psychiatrist who's a good fit for you.
Here are some places you can learn more about therapists and psychiatrists near you:
- Psychology Today - search for therapists and psychiatrists by location, identity, specialty, and more.
- Good Therapy - search for therapists by location, specialty, accessilibity, and more.
- UArizona students can meet with a CAPS counselor to discuss mental health care options.
- Explore UArizona mental health and basic needs resources.
How You Can Work with a Counselor or Therapist
Find Your Way Through
Working with a therapist or other mental health professional can help you take care of your emotional wellbeing, address any circumstances that might have led you to your attempt, and help you make a plan for staying safe in the future.
After a suicide attempt, it can feel like nothing will be normal again. A suicide attempt can impact every part of your life. Working with a therapist can help you address the changes since your attempt and navigate life today.
Continue to Grow
A suicide attempt may reveal areas of your life you want to address, values, challenges you want to face differently, questions you want to explore, and more. Work with a therapist to learn more about yourself and how you wish to grow.
Surround Yourself With What Lifts You Up
Create an environment that leaves you feeling safe and supported. Your supportive environment is personal to you. Include anything and anyone you find healing and empowering, like:
- important people and online communities
- your physical surroundings
- what you spend your time doing
- television shows
- favorite music and movies
- educational materials
- school and work relationships
- support groups
- mental health support
Define Self-Care for Yourself
You have the power to decide what self-care means to you. Here are some ideas to try:
Create a personal safety plan that includes people to call, coping skills to use, and steps to take to create a safe environment.
Write a Personal Coping Statement
What are the most important things to say to yourself when you're struggling with suicidal thoughts and feelings? Make a list and keep them someplace easy to find.
Find a Community
Find a local or online community that offers support and hope for survivors of a suicide attempt.
Discover a New Practice
Continue learning the self-care and wellness practices that work for you.