September is Suicide Awareness Month: The difference between Passive and Active Suicide Ideation

September is Suicide Awareness Month. I want to spend this month focused on empowering folks who struggle with mental health to talk to loved ones about their experience and ways loved ones can be supportive and engaged in their process towards fostering a well balanced lifestyle that promotes joy and the acute awareness to discover joy in moments.


What is the difference between passive suicide ideation and active suicide ideation?

  • Passive Suicide Ideation is when you have thoughts of suicide or self harm but no plan to carry it out.

  • Active Suicide Ideation is when you have thoughts of suicide or self harm, and have developed a plan to carry it out.


The line between passive and active suicidal ideation is blurry.


There are many factors that can generally be recognized through the lens of the following three categories, behavioral, physical, and psychosocial.


Warning signs: include giving away possessions, getting affairs in order, and saying goodbye to loved ones.


Folks struggling with the condition such as substance abuse, depression, or other mood disorders may lead to a preoccupation with dying/death.


What can you do to prevent the onset of suicide ideation?

1. Identify your triggers ( external and internal cues.

2. Identify and label your safety and set clear boundaries with others.

3. Communicate any changes about your mental well-being with others.

4. Keep track of stressful situations, factors that may change that alters your mental wellbeing.

5. Create a self-care, distress and/or grounding kit ( i.e brisk walks, mindfulness, journaling, reading, visiting friends etc).

6. Seek help at the first sign your mental health has worsen.

7. Call 911 if you’re having thoughts of suicide.


What can you do to support your loved ones?

1. I empower loved ones to face their duality in this chaotic and rapid changing world.

2. Reflect compassion and curiosity

3. Challenge your bias as it relates to mental health


For more information download the support someone with suicidal thoughts factsheet

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