Suicide is the second most common cause of death in young people age 10 to 34. It’s the 10th leading cause of death for all Americans. This National Suicide Awareness Month take a few minutes to learn the warning signs.
Suicide warning signs
Warning signs someone you know might be at risk of suicide include:
- Talking about suicide. Statements such as “I wish I were dead” or “I wish I were never born” are red flags.
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness. This may include a person talking about feeling like a burden to others, being in extreme pain, or feeling as if they no longer have a reason to live.
- Unusual behaviors. If a person is suicidal, they may increase their use of alcohol or drugs, withdraw from their usual activities, send goodbye messages to others, or start to give away important possessions.
- Mood changes. If you’re concerned about someone, take note of emotional changes such as extreme depression, anxiety, irritability, agitation, loss of interest, shame or humiliation or any sudden mood swing from despair to seeming better.
It’s also important to know about risk factors that put people at a higher risk for suicide.
Someone is at a higher risk if they have:
- Attempted suicide in the past
- Had a recent stressful event or crisis, such as divorce, major financial problems or losing a job
- A family history of suicide
- A background of being bullied or harassed
- A history of being abused
- Access to firearms or drugs
- An underlying mental health condition
- A traumatic brain injury
- A serious health condition that causes pain
If you think someone is suicidal or at risk for suicide get help right away. Don’t try to manage the situation on your own.
- Don’t leave the person alone
- Call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Call 911 and talk to emergency services
Getting help from a trained mental health specialist will provide the support and resources needed to move forward in a positive direction. To find a physician, visit our online directory.