Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Mental Health Office
Days: Monday - Friday |  Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. |  Telephone: (240) 773-9752 | Directions |  Map |  Bus Schedule |  Inmate Visiting | Suicide Prevention Flyer

Suicide prevention is a major priority at the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DOCR). These are valuable resources for family members and friends to turn to for guidance:

             Address:     1301 Picard Dr. Rockville, MD 20850
             Telephone: 240.770.4000 (available 24/7)

If you are visiting or talking to an inmate on the phone and they sound depressed, may be thinking of harming themselves and you feel it may be a life safety issue, such as the potential for suicide or other serious concern, please call 240-773-9704 and ask to speak to a shift supervisor immediately and contact the resources listed above.


There are a number of reasons that inmates feel suicidal. Some may be suffering abnormal thoughts and feelings due to an episode of a serious mental illness - such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Serious depression, for example, is highly correlated with suicidal thoughts. Or, a person may be hearing voices telling him to kill himself. Some inmates may feel suicidal due to effects of alcohol or drugs, including withdrawal.
Other inmates may not necessarily be seriously mentally ill, but are feeling suicidal because of an emotional crisis that they are experiencing. An inmate may express feeling suicidal for a variety of reasons. Here are a few common examples:

  • A setback or unexpected development in his or her legal/criminal justice situation
  • A relationship problem with a spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend, etc.
  • Problems regarding family members or friends, including worries about children
  • Financial problems or difficulties
  • A problem or conflict with one or more other inmates or staff members
  • Often, it is a combination of issues that causes a crisis.


Research has found that more than half of people (54%) who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition. A number of other things may put a person at risk of suicide, including:

  • A family history of suicide.
  • Substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol can result in mental highs and lows that exacerbate suicidal thoughts.
  • A serious or chronic medical illness.
  • Gender. Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are four times more likely to die by suicide.
  • A history of trauma or abuse.
  • Prolonged stress.
  • Isolation.
  • Age. People under age 24 or above age 65 are at a higher risk for suicide.
  • A recent tragedy or loss.
  • Agitation and sleep deprivation.


  • Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous
  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Social withdrawal from friends and family
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Talking, writing or thinking about death
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior