Psychological Self-Help

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attitudes or skills to solve these problems. So, think seriously about
Considering the possible severity of the problem, there are no good
reasons to avoid such help. Help is almost certainly available! Third,
you are hardly in mental or emotional condition to make life-or-death
decisions. You need help finding other options. Fourth, and most
importantly, suicide is a permanent solution—you can’t take it back—
for what is almost always a temporary problem or situation. Please get
help to develop the best possible solution to the bad situation you are
How can you find a serious, helpful person to talk to you right
away? The answer to that may be a bit complex. 
If your urge to hurt yourself is very strong, possibly deadly, and
pressing now, you really need to contact emergency health care
responders immediately, so call 911. If you are bleeding, sick, or have
taken an overdose of pills, call 911 or have someone take you to the
nearest hospital ER. If you have a gun or other weapon, call 911 or the
police. If you are very confused and unable to concentrate or make
sense when you talk, call 911 or call a local Mental Health Crisis
Service or a Suicide Prevention Center (1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-999-
9999). The hospital Emergency Room, if they aren’t overwhelmed, will
examine you, let you rest, have a doctor, social worker, or nurse talk
to you about your troubles and about getting continuing help, and
perhaps give you some medicine to temporarily calm you down, if you
want it. Many Community Mental Health Centers provide a 24/7 mobile
crisis service. 
If you are not in immediate physical danger but are feeling really
down and need to have someone to talk to right now in the middle of
the night (or day), call your therapist if you have one or have ever had
one…or call a parent, a relative, a caring friend whom you know will be
responsible…or call a Suicide Prevention Service (1-800-SUICIDE or 1-
800-999-9999). Any of these people will talk to you immediately, help
you calm down, and assist you to make plans for finding the long-term
help you need. Many Suicide Prevention Counselors are only available
by phone but they are familiar with your community resources and the
Community Mental Health Center which has counselors available
during the day. 
If you are not in that much trouble and can wait until tomorrow to
talk about your problems, I’d strongly recommend that you vow right
now to give priority to finding a therapist tomorrow. Don’t deceive
yourself by saying “I’ll just talk to a friend…Maybe I’ll feel better after I
think this through…my Mom will tell me what to do…I don’t need a
therapist; they couldn’t help me anyway.” Considering your answers to
the questions above, you have the kinds of problems that probably can
not be solved quickly and are best dealt with by talking regularly for
several weeks with a professional. Your situation should not become a
burden on a caring friend who does not have the time or the special
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