Warning Signs of Suicide

By Staff Writer

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention recommends taking any comment or behavior seriously that could indicate someone is thinking about suicide. Over 300,000 people die by suicide each year.

It was once thought that talking to someone about his/her suicide comment or behavior would somehow encourage them to think more about suicide. This is not true. Suicide comments or threats are also not to be considered as just attention-getting behavior. These comments and behaviors are warning signs of an individual under emotional distress.

It is important to talk with the individual about your concerns for their safety. You are giving them the message that you care and your discussion with them can help determine what assistance they may need. Stay with the individual until they obtain the assistance they need. Call Best Care EAP to discuss your concerns or for crisis counseling. Call 911 if emergency assistance is needed.

Warning Signs

Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness; depression

Intense criticism of self or anger at self

Ideation (thinking, talking or wishing about suicide)

Sudden happiness or calmness, indicating a possible decision to commit

Making arrangements, such as getting one’s affairs in order

Giving away possessions or discussion of funeral arrangements and inheritance of possessions 

Recklessness (high risk-taking behavior)

Substance use or abuse (increased risk of impulsive behavior)

Withdrawal from family, friends, work, school, or other important activities

Poor concentration or dramatic changes in mood

Changes in eating or sleeping patterns or other routine behaviors

Risk Factors

Previous suicide attempts

Psychiatric disorders (major depression, bipolar disorder or other disorder involving depression)

Death of a friend or family member

The breakup of an important relationship

Loss of a job

Alcohol or other drug abuse

Physical or sexual abuse

Unwillingness to seek help or consider changes in unhealthy behavior

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention HOTLINE 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or 911.  For additional information, access the National Suicide Prevention Website

 


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