Suicide Prevention Information

If you or someone you know is suicidal, get help immediately via 911 or contacting one of the hotlines below.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call: (800) 273-TALK or (800) 273-8255
Text: 741741

Central Iowa Crisis Line
Toll-Free Crisis Line: 844-258-8858
Online Chat Counseling:
* Available Monday-Friday, 9am to 3pm
Text Support: 800-332-4224
* Available Monday-Friday, 9am to 3pm

Iowa Crisis Chat
Call/Text: 1-855-325-4296

Risk Factors:

  • Hopelessness
  • Non-suicidal self-injury
  • Mental illness, especially severe depression, but also post traumatic stress, ADHD, and substance abuse
  • History of suicidal thinking and behavior
  • Prior suicide among peers or family members
  • Interpersonal conflict, family stress
  • Presence of a firearm in the home

Warning Signs:

  • Suicidal threats in the form of direct and indirect statements
  • Suicide notes, plans, online postings
  • Making final arrangements
  • Preoccupation with death
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Talking about death
  • Sudden unexplained happiness
  • Increased risk taking
  • Heavy drug/alcohol use

What to Do:

  • Remain calm, nonjudgmental and listen
  • Ask directly about suicide (e.g., Are you thinking about suicide?”)
  • Focus on your concern for their well-being
  • Avoid being accusatory
  • Reassure them that there is help; they will not feel like this forever
  • Provide constant supervision. Do not leave them alone.
  • Remove means for self-harm, especially firearms.
  • Get help! Never agree to keep suicidal thoughts a secret. Tell an appropriate caregiving adult. Parents should seek help from school or community mental health resources as soon as possible. School staff should take the student to a school-employed mental health professional.

Reminders for Parents:

After a school notifies a parent of their child’s risk for suicide and provides referral information, parents must:

  • Continue to take threats seriously. Follow through is important even after the child calms down or informs the parent “they didn’t mean it.”
  • Access community supports. Refer to our list of community resources.
  • Maintain communication with school. After an intervention, the school will also provide follow-up supports. Your communication will be crucial to ensuring that the school is a safe, comfortable place for your child.

*Information taken from the National Association of School Psychologists.