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The Right Connection - Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention

For any mental health issue or question, contact the Macomb County Crisis Center (586) 307-9100 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255

Click on each title below to see detailed information.

Information on youth suicide, prevention and programs is available online at:

 In a mental health emergency such as a threat of suicide, call the Macomb County Crisis Center, (586) 307-9100 or (855) 996-2264 (Toll free). The client will be directed to either services through the Community Mental Health network or to the nearest Emergency Room. 

At the hospital, staff will assess the immediate need and obtain authorization for the appropriate level of care. Treatment may be provided in an inpatient unit or in an alternative community setting, according to best practice guidelines, Macomb County Community Mental Health or hospital policy, and the situation.

To speak to a counselor trained in assessing suicidal risk, call:

Macomb County Crisis Center

(586) 307-9100 (855) 996-2264 (Toll free) 

HOURS: Mon - Fri: 7:00 - 11:00 P.M. Sat & Sun: 7:00 -10:00 P.M. After hours, an answering machine will give the caller the number of an open crisis center near them. 

Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD)

Dial 7-1-1


  • Talking about death, suicide, or not being around much longer

  • Recent loss of any kind (death, divorce, move, rejection, poor health, self-esteem, etc.)

  • Family stress (parental conflict, divorce, unemployment, etc.)

  • Changes in mood or behavior (crying, fighting, feeling depressed or hyperactive, running away, stealing, neglecting school work, taking increased risks, etc.).

  • Avoiding contact with other people

  • Increased (or initial) use of alcohol or drugs

  • Decrease in personal care; changes in eating or sleeping habits

  • Acquiring means for suicide (pills, gun, etc.)

  • Getting things in order (writing goodbye letters, giving away favorite possessions, etc.)

  • Sudden cheerfulness after a bout of depression. Most suicides occur within three months after a person's "improvement"

If someone is suicidal:

  • Be aware of the warning signs.

  • Directly ask the person if they are thinking about killing themselves.

  • Be willing to listen and provide emotional support.

  • Always take the person's feelings seriously.

  • Recognize that this person is suffering within a set of circumstances unique to them.

  • Offer hope that alternatives are available.

  • Work together on developing a plan for safety. What are they able and willing to do to stay safe? Who are they willing to turn to? Are they willing to make a No Suicide Promise (to call a particular person or the Crisis Center before taking any action to harm or kill themselves?

  • Involve family members, professionals, or other adults who may be supportive to that person. Avoid taking on the role of lone supporter

  • Ask the person if he or she has a plan for suicide and arrange for the means to be removed from the home or safely locked away. Suicidal persons should not have access to firearms


  • Don't ignore the warning signs.

  • Don't dare the person to do it.

  • Don't ask "why?".

  • Don't judge their feelings as right or wrong.

  • Don't leave a highly suicidal person alone.

Making a preliminary assessment

The following are indicators of suicide potential. The more    that are true, the higher the risk.     

  • Prior suicide attempt (considered the best single indicator of suicide risk)

  • Extreme emotional states (very depressed or nervous, aggressive, out of control)

  • Suicide plan (has specific lethal plan and available means to follow through on plan)

  • Recent loss (loved one, job, freedom, etc.)

  • Medical problem (especially a terminal illness or anything physically debilitating)

  • Lack of human support (no perceived supportive family or friends)

  • Lack of reasons for living (family, friendships, work, school, hobbies, religion, pets, future plans)

  • Lost someone to suicide (especially a family member, friend, classmate, or admired celebrity)

  • Substance abuse (alcohol and/or other drug abuse increases the risk of suicide)

  • Person is reluctant or unwilling to agree to a No Suicide Promise or to plan for his or her safety

There is a greater liability if a professional does nothing to assist a potentially suicidal youth than attempts an intervention in good faith. Be sure to document whatever action you take to assess the youth to protect yourself from legal liability.

The confidential nature of student confidences or other professional persons engaged in character building in the public schools or in any other educational situation, including any clerical worker of such schools and institutions, who maintains records of students' behavior or who receives in confidence communications from students or other juveniles, shall be allowed in any proceedings, civil or criminal, in  any court of this state to disclose any information obtained from the records of such communications: or to produce records or transcripts thereof, except that testimony may be given, with the consent of the person so confiding or to whom the records relate, if the person is 18 years of age or over, or if the person is a minor, with the consent of his or her parent or legal guardian.

The Michigan Attorney General has ruled that this statutory prohibition applies only to third parties and that disclosure may be made to parents or guardians. Of special note is the Attorney General's opinion that in cases involving divorced parents disclosure may be made to either parent without regard to which has custody.

Teachers may report any concerns or communications to other teachers and/or in-school counselors and social workers.

All questions concerning possible liability for disclosing information regarding students should be directed to attorneys for the school district; each district should prepare and publish with the assistance of counsel, a comprehensive policies and procedures manual for suicide risk identification and prevention.

Procedures for hospitalization if a student presents a suicide risk

A parent can request emergency admission "if there is a reason to believe the minor is emotionally disturbed and poses a danger to himself or others".

A person acting in loco parentis, such as a teacher may make the request, but the parents must be notified immediately.

  • A police officer may likewise make the request as long as he or she has personally observed the behavior.
  • If the student is an adult (age 18 and above) any person may file a petition for involuntary commitment if the student threatens serious physical injury and has engaged in an act or made significant threats supportive of his intentions; or if the student has demonstrated his/her inability to attend to basic physical needs such as food, clothing or shelter; or if the student's judgment is so impaired that he/she is unable to understand his/her need for treatment and whose continued behavior can reasonably be expected to result in significant physical harm.
  • Petitions are filed in the county probate court or at the hospital emergency room.

Trained suicide prevention counselors cay offer free information and resources on how you can help a suicidal person.  Available from the Macomb County Crisis Center (586) 307-9100.  

Macomb County Crisis Center

(586) 307-9100 (855) 996-2264 (Toll free) 

HOURS: Mon - Fri: 7:00 - 11:00 P.M. Sat & Sun: 7:00 -10:00 P.M. After hours, an answering machine will give the caller the number of an open crisis center near them. 

Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD)

Dial 7-1-1

A specially-trained team of volunteers from police, fire, emergency medical services, mental health, clergy, and other professions provides Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) services for anyone exposed to a critical incident or a mass disaster. A critical incident could be a fire, suicide, workplace accident, plane crash, tornado, or accidental death. Typically, a MERG team will meet with a group of people who have been exposed to a critical incident and ensure a confidential setting in which they can freely talk about their experiences and express their reactions. To request information on MERG or request the services of MERG, call the MCCMH Crisis Center at (586) 307-9100.

Macomb County Crisis Center

(586) 307-9100 (855) 996-2264 (Toll free) 

HOURS: Mon - Fri: 7:00 - 11:00 P.M. Sat & Sun: 7:00 -10:00 P.M. After hours, an answering machine will give the caller the number of an open crisis center near them. 

Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) Dial 7-1-1

A grief support program designed to assist families, friends, and individuals affected by the aftermath of suicide provides professional/peer-facilitated meetings in a supportive and confidential setting. This allows survivors to share and validate their feelings and experiences. Meetings are the first Wednesday and third Tuesday of the month from 7:00 P.M. - 9:00 P.M. at the Macomb Intermediate School District, 44001 Garfield, Clinton Township, MI 48038. For more information, contact http://www.knowresolve.org/ or (877) 228-9550.

Youth suicide awareness and prevention information: http://knowresolve.org/