Suicide Prevention Month
Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it is often preventable. Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can help save lives. Learn about behaviors that may be a sign that someone is thinking about suicide.
Changes in behavior, such as:
– Making a plan or researching ways to die
– Withdrawing from friends, saying goodbye, or giving away important items
– Taking dangerous risks, acting reckless, or impulsive
– Displaying extreme mood swings
– Eating or sleeping more or less
– Using drugs or alcohol more often
– Wanting to die
– Great guilt or shame
– Feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
– Being a burden to others
– Feeling hopeless or having no purpose
– Empty, hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live
– Extremely sad, more anxious, agitated, or full of rage
– Unbearable emotional or physical pain
If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, particularly if the behavior is new or has increased recently. Call the Lifeline (in the USA) at 988 OR Text SAVE to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free crisis counseling.
Risk factors do not cause or predict a suicide, rather they are characteristics that make it more likely an individual will consider, attempt or die by suicide.
– Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders
– History of trauma or abuse
– Major physical or chronic illnesses
– Previous suicide attempt
– Family history of suicide
– Recent job or financial loss
– Recent loss of relationship
– Easy access to lethal means
– Local clusters of suicide
– Lack of social support and sense of isolation
– Stigma associated with asking for help
– Lack of health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
– Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
– Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)
Protective factors are characteristics that make a person less likely to engage in suicidal behavior. Moreover, protective factors can promote resilience and ensure connectedness with others during difficult times, thereby making suicidal behaviors less likely.
– Effective clinical care for mental, physical and substance use disorders
– Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions
– Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide
– Strong connections to family and community support
– Support through ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
– Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution and handling problems in a non-violent way
– Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support self-preservation
It’s important that we talk about mental health and suicide. Mental health is health and yet there is still so much stigma associated with it. Together we can be the change. Remember to be kind to your mind and love yourself well!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.