If you or a loved one have thoughts of suicide, call one of these hotlines 24/7:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Philadelphia Crisis Line: 215-686-4420
Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 to talk to someone.
If you worry about suicide being on the mind of a friend, co-worker, or family member and don’t know how to ask, call a hotline or ask the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) questions. You can find them here.
Einstein adopted Zero-Suicide as a commitment to reduce the risk of suicide in our community. Zero Suicide is an approach that has been shown to reduce, though not yet to zero, the rate of suicide. As part of the approach, Einstein health care professionals screen patients in the hospital, emergency service and behavioral health programs for thoughts of self-harm or suicide. By doing this, we hope to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health and suicide risk and make it easy for people to get help rather than die by suicide.
Crisis Response Center
Location: The Einstein Philadelphia campus offers a psychiatric emergency service for mental health - the Crisis Response Center. The Crisis Response Center is located at 5501 Old York Road Philadelphia, PA 19141 (enter through Einstein Philadelphia’s Emergency Room). It is only one of five in Philadelphia. It’s available any time of day to provide immediate support and guidance for people in need.
Einstein operates three Emergency Departments, located in North Philadelphia, East Norriton (Montgomery) and Elkins Park. Each Emergency Department is fully equipped to provide immediate support for people experiencing suicidal thoughts or behavioral health crises.
Hospital based (inpatient) services: The Einstein Philadelphia campus has both general and older adult psychiatric inpatient care. Additionally, Einstein Philadelphia campus, Einstein Elkins Park campus, and the Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, offer psychiatry consultation to anyone seeking help who is admitted to the general hospital for any other reason.
Outpatient services: For children through adult, Einstein Philadelphia campus, Einstein Elkins Park campus, and Einstein at Center One offer outpatient services.
Suicide Warning Signs
Research has shown that social support can be incredibly helpful during crisis situations. If you know someone who shows the following warning signs, ask, "Are you okay?" If suicide is a concern, help them find professional care (police, 911, Emergency Services, hot line contact) and stay with them if you can until that care is at hand.
Suicide warning signs include: (These suggest the person may already be thinking about suicide)
- Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling hopeless, feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Mentioning being a burden to others
- Having deep feelings of shame or embarrassment
- Having extreme mood swings
- Increasing agitation
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
- Sleeping much more or much less than usual
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves from others
- Obtaining a gun for the first time
- Giving away belongings and valuables, filling out a will or writing a suicide note
Some Risk Factors for Suicide: (These may increase the chances someone could have thoughts about suicide)
- Depression, especially if it lasts more than a couple of weeks
- Financial or job loss
- Loss of relationship
- Family history of suicide
- History of trauma
- Mental disorders, including substance use disorders
- Lack of support system or a sense of isolation
- Loss of function or chronic medical illness or pain
What You Can Do to Help Keep Someone Safe
If you have suicidal thoughts:
Don't feel alone, scared, or embarrassed to reach out. There is always immediate access to help 24/7 by a toll-free phone call to any of the hotlines listed at the top of this page, the police, 911, or go to any Emergency Department.
If someone you know has suicidal thoughts:
- DO be direct and ask openly about suicide. (No you won't put the idea into their mind for the first time)
- DO be willing to listen without judgment.
- DO get involved, be available, and show your support.
- DO offer hope.
- DO remove easy ways someone can get hurt, like weapons or pills.
- DO stay with them until help is at hand and any perceived crisis is resolved.
- DO get help from people or agencies such as the Police, 911, a hotline, or an Emergency Department.
- DON’T debate whether suicide is right or wrong or if the feelings are good or bad.
- DON’T lecture your loved one on the value of life.
- DON’T dare them to do it.
- DON’T act shocked, as this will create distance between you.
- DON’T be sworn to secrecy, instead seek support.
If you are concerned that a friend, co-worker, or family member might be thinking of suicide:
ASK: “Are you okay?” call a hotline for guidance, or ask the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) questions as a way to get started. You can find them here.