Since 1999 the Kansas suicide rate has gone up 45%–one of the largest increases in the nation.*  In 2018 Wichita saw 99 deaths from suicide, a 20% increase since 2015. We have a real and growing problem. However, the risk of suicide can be reduced if we take the time to educate the ourselves and the available support system for those at risk for suicide. Treatment combined with a strong support system can make a difference.

Here are some tips to help you be an effective support person and to know when and where to get professional help.

What the signs are of suicide

Suicide is a growing issue in our city. Here are some warning signs to watch for:

  • Talking about dying, suicide or hurting oneself
  • Expressing feelings of self-hate or hopelessness
  • Acting in dangerous or destructive ways
  • Getting affairs in order such as passing on meaningful items or saying goodbye
  • Seeking a means for self-destruction such as pills, weapons or lethal objects
  • Displaying a sudden sense of calm with no apparent cause

When and Where to get help

Helping in Low to Moderate Risk Situations.

A low to moderate risk means exhibiting some of the warning signs above but with no lethal plan to complete suicide.

  • Take your loved one to an appointment and provide help numbers.
  • Help the person identify triggers and don’t leave them alone at their lowest point.
  • Remove potential means of harm such as pills, weapons, knives, razors, firearms.
  • Continue your support. Stay in touch and continue to invite them to be with you.

Helping in High Risk Situations

A high risk situation typically is when a person has a lethal plan but says they won’t execute it. The best thing to do is to get them to call one of the following:

  • A safety plan person. Working with a counselor and other support people, someone who is at high risk will develop a personal safety plan. Ask them how you can help support them and their safety plan. It may mean calling you. Don’t leave them alone at this point. Find a means for distraction and involve the person in everyday activities.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK
  • Text the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741
  • ComCare Crisis Intervention Local Hotline 1-800-660-7500
  • Or, call 911 and a police officer will assist you

Helping in Immanent Risk Situations

When a person makes verbal statements indicating a desire to commit suicide and they have a specific lethal plan, it is time to get them to safety. Go immediately to one of the following:

  • ComCare at 934 N. Water, Wichita Kansas 67203
  • Via Christi St. Joseph Emergency Room at 3600 E. Harry, Wichita Kansas 67218
  • Or, call 911 and a police officer will assist you

*Center for Disease Control and Prevention


HopeNet will walk alongside you and the one you love because we believe every person has value and is designed for purpose. Sometimes the journey is difficult but it isn’t impossible. Our team has professionals committed to empowering people to discover and practice new tools for coping and experience hope in a whole new way. Treating one another with dignity and extending a network of support in the process of experiencing HOPE is what we are called to do. Thank you for partnering with us.