Information to Help Prevent Suicide
(From The Connect Program) Sometimes it can be difficult to tell warning signs from “normal” behavior especially in adolescents. Ask yourself, Is the behavior I am seeing very different for this particular person? Also, recognize that sometimes those who are depressed can appear angry, irritable, and/or hostile in addition to withdrawn and quiet.
Recognize the Warning Signs for Suicide:
- Talking about or threatening to hurt or kill oneself.
- Seeking firearms, drugs, or other lethal means for killing onseself.
- Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide.
- Direct statements or less direct statements of suicidal intent. (Ex. I’m just going to end it all or Everything would be easier if I wasn’t around.)
- Feeling hopeless.
- Feeling rage or uncontrollable anger or seeking revenge.
- Feeling trapped and like there’s no way out.
- Dramatic mood changes.
- Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life.
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities.
- Increasing alcohol or drug use.
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and society.
- Feeling anxious or agitated.
- Being unable to sleep, or sleeping all the time.
Things you can do to help:
- Ask directly about their suicidal feelings. Talking about suicide is the first step to preventing suicide.
- Let them know you care.
- Stay with them until a parent or professional is involved.
- Offer a message of hope. Let them know you will assist them in getting help.
- Connect them with help. National Suicide Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255) (press “1” for veterans)
For a more complete list of warning signs as well as comprehensive lists of risk factors and protective factors, you can consult with the Connect website at http://www.theconnectprogram.org and click on Understanding Suicide.