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Suicide Prevention Resources

Suicide Prevention Resources

Mary Washington Healthcare, Rappahannock Area Community Services Board and Rappahannock United Way combined resources and convened experts to host a town hall on the serious public health issue of suicide. Suicide takes an enormous toll on families, friends, co-workers, as well as our veterans and impacts our communities as a whole.

Who is at Risk of Suicide?

Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk for suicide.

However, certain identified factors tend to increase the risk for suicide:

  • Depression, other mental disorders, and substance use disorder
  • A prior suicide attempt
  • Family history of a mental disorder or substance abuse
  • Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior (family, friends, etc.)
  • Having guns or other firearms in the home
  • Incarceration, being in jail or prison
  • Family history of suicide

Warning Signs

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself; a preoccupation with death
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Increasing use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Suddenly happier, calmer
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Making arrangements; getting personal affairs in order

Common Myths

“People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.”

FALSE: Do not ignore any suicide threats. Almost everyone who attempts or completes suicide has given warning signs through their words or behaviors.

“If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her.”

FALSE: Most suicidal people do not want to die; they want to stop the pain. The impulse to end their life does not last forever.

“Talking about suicide may give the person the idea.”

FALSE: You do not give the person ideas about suicide by talking about it. The opposite is true. Providing the opportunity to discuss their feelings openly and safely is one of the most helpful things you can do.

If You See the Warning Signs of Suicide…

  • Remain calm. Be prepared to talk about suicide.
  • Start the conversation by asking direct questions. Suicidal thoughts are common with some mental illnesses and your willingness to talk about it in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational way can be the help a person needs to seek additional professional support. Questions to ask:
    • “Are you thinking about suicide?”
    • “Do you have a plan to die by suicide or take your life?”
  • Never keep a plan for suicide a secret. You cannot promise confidentiality. Saving a life is more important.
  • Don’t try to minimize problems or shame a person into changing their mind.
  • Be prepared to act. Do not leave a suicidal individual alone. Get them to help immediately. But, you don’t have to do it alone. Seek additional support from family, friends, and professionals.

Don’t Forget…

  • Always take thoughts of or plans for suicide seriously.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for all ages (CDC).
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds (CDC).
  • Depression effects 20-25% of Americans ages 18 or older in a given year (CDC).
  • Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
  • 80-90% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication (TAPS study).

Calls to Action: What Can You Do?

  • First and foremost: If you or someone you love struggles with mental wellness, please know you are not alone. Help is available: 540.373.6876.
  • Help raise awareness with neighbors, co-workers, and friends about what you’ve learned.
  • Have a conversation with your family on mental wellness and help dispel misconceptions around mental illness.
  • Watch and listen to your loved ones for concerning changes in behavior. Be willing to seek professional help and guidance.
  • Remove access to lethal means. Make sure medications, guns, knives, and other weapons are locked and safely stored. If able, remove them from your home and ask a trusted adult to store them for you.
  • Learn more! Sign-up for Mental Health First Aid, safeTALK, ASIST, Talk Saves Lives, QPR, orother suicide prevention education training

Rappahannock Area Mental Health Resources

In case of a Mental Health Emergency:

Rappahannock Area Community Services Board 24-hour Emergency Services 540.373.6876
Snowden at Fredericksburg / Mary Washington Hospital 800.362.5005
Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center 540.498.4563
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 988 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255)

Supportive Services:

Mental Health America of Fredericksburg

  • HelpLine – Free, confidential referral and information on mental health practitioners, treatment services, community resources and educational literature; available weekdays.
  • Provider Listing – A listing of licensed mental health practitioners in the private sector and mental health agencies with quarterly updates is available online at
  • Senior Visitors – Program provides trained volunteers to visit seniors who are isolated and lonely.
  • Support Groups – Free non-therapeutic, professionally facilitated groups including Mental Wellness, Teen Support, and Survivors of Suicide Loss (for those who have lost a loved one to suicide).
  • Suicide Prevention – “Signs of Suicide” – suicide prevention education in local middle and high schools.

Mental Health America of Virginia Warm Line
886.400.MHAV (6428)

Friendly, compassionate, non-judgmental peer-run support service for individuals residing in Virginia who just need to talk or need a referral to mental health resources. (Monday through Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

National Alliance on Mental Illness- Rappahannock

  • Monthly Meetings – Free education programs and support groups for family members and individuals with mental illness.
  • Family-to-Family – Free 12-week course providing education and support for family members, led by trained family members.
  • In Our Own Voice – Free 60-90-minute presentation by individuals telling their stories of recovery, interspersed with video; available upon request; incorporated as part of Family-to-Family curriculum.
  • Peer-to-Peer – Free 10-week course for individuals with mental illness, taught by individuals with mental illness, providing education and support.

Virginia 2-1-1
Dial 2-1-1

Free, confidential referral and information on health services, financial assistance, housing, senior services, child care and more!

Virginia Veteran and Family Support (formerly the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program)
VVFS provides peer and family support and care coordination services to Virginia veterans and their families with a special emphasis on those affected by stress related conditions or traumatic brain injuries resulting from military service.

Service Providers

Community Health Center of the Rappahannock Region

Caroline Family Practice
Staff includes a MD and clinical psychologist; dental, health and counseling services.

Dominion Day Services
Mental Health support services.

Supporting survivors of domestic violence to move beyond victimization to healing and empowerment. Crisis intervention, 24-hour hotline, shelter, free support groups.

Family Counseling Center for Recovery
Services for individuals with chemical dependency and their families: assessment & intervention; intensive outpatient programs; ambulatory detoxification; alternative therapies; family intervention.

Family Solutions
Crisis intervention, Mental Health support services, intensive family services.

Fredericksburg Counseling Services
Free Mental Health clinic provides counseling for uninsured, low-income individuals and families.

Mental Health support services, intensive in-home counseling, therapeutic day treatment.

Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic
Psychiatric evaluation with medication management and therapy support for persons eligible for services at the Moss Free Clinic.

Mary Washington Healthcare: Snowden at Fredericksburg
540.741.3900 or 800.362.5005
Free assessments and referrals; intensive outpatient treatment for adults with substance abuse; Mental Health day treatment for adolescents and adults; inpatient services. A department of Mary Washington Healthcare.

National Counseling Group
Outpatient, intensive in-home, Mental Health support, therapeutic day treatment, co-parenting, Mental Health and substance abuse outpatient, substance abuse education, in-home counseling, psychological evaluations, parenting competency evaluations, drug testing.

Rappahannock Area Community Services Board
Mental health, intellectual disability, substance abuse, prevention and early intervention services, outpatient services, psychiatric care, medication management, individual and group therapy, case management (all ages), emergency services, crisis stabilization, specialized services for women, day support, residential. 24-hour Emergency Services: 540.373.6876

Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault
540.371.6771 office / 540.371.1666 hotline
Sexual abuse & rape crisis services - 24-hour crisis support; free support groups for children, teens, women, and men; free case management/legal advocacy; trauma-informed counseling; art therapy; long-term counseling available.