- The person talks about wanting to kill himself or wishes he was dead.
- The person hoards medicine or buys a gun.
- The person discusses a specific suicide plan.
- The person feels hopeless or has no reason to live.
- The person feels trapped or desperate.
- The person feels like a burden to others.
- The person feels humiliated.
- The person has intense anxiety or a panic attack.
- The person has lost interest in things or no longer experiences pleasure.
- The person has insomnia.
- The person becomes socially isolated.
- The person acts irritable or agitated.
- The person shows rage.
-The person shows sudden improvement in mood following extended depression--she may have decided on suicide as the answer.
Please ask questions:
- Say you are concerned about suicide based on what you are hearing.
- Ask the person if she has a plan or means.
- Ask the person if he has a reason to live.
- Ask the person if she is seeing a clinician so the treating clinician can be contacted.
- Don't try to argue the person out of suicide. Instead, let him know you care and want to help.
Please take action:
- If she has made specific plans and has means, don't leave her alone.
- Walk him to the emergency department or walk-in-clinic, or call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- People are at risk for suicide when they are faced with mental illness including depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, impulsivity problems or a personality disorder such as borderline or antisocial.
- People are at risk for suicide if they have engaged in a previous attempt, having a family history of attempted and completed suicides, have a serious medical condition or pain.
- People are at risk for suicide if they have been recently faced with a highly stressful life event, deal with chronic stress, or have access to lethal methods, or have exposure to someone else's completed suicide.
Having a risk factor isn't the same thing as exhibiting an acute warning sign (listed at top). Still, reach out to friends and family who have multiple risk factors and offer support.
To set up protective factors:
- Prevent access to means for lethal plans
- Establish reasons to live; loved ones; meaning to life; goals
- Access effective mental health care
- Establish strong social support
- Improve personal agency and a set of skills and abilities to solve problems