Suicide Warning Signs
Recognizing the warning signs that may indicate your student/friend is thinking about suicide is important because it increases the likelihood or early detection and intervention. Although no one can predict with 100% accuracy who will attempt suicide and when the following signals may indicate a risk of suicide. As a general rule, the more signs the increased likelihood of suicidal behavior.
If you notice any of the below warning signs in a student or friend, it is very important that you ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide.
You cannot give a student suicidal thoughts by talking about suicide. Most people will communicate either directly or indirectly their intent to attempt suicide. It should always be taken seriously.
- Significant loss (financial aid, death of friend/family member, loss of job)
- Exposure to suicide acts through others (media, family, friends)
- Diagnosis of terminal or serious illness
- Fear of becoming a burden to others
- Difficulties in school (dramatic decrease in academic performance)
- Rage or aggression
- Anxiety or agitation
- Increased drug/alcohol use
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Lack of concern
- Putting personal affairs in order or making amends
- Previous suicide attempt
- Dramatic changes in mood
- Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
- Withdrawing from friends/family, social isolation
Thoughts or Feelings
- Feeling Trapped
- Expressing no sense of purpose or reason to live.
- Threatening to hurt or kill themselves
- Direct verbal cues such as:
- I wish I were dead
- I’m going to end it all
- I believe in suicide
- Less verbal cue examples:
- I’m so tired of it all, I just can’t go on
- Here, take this. I won’t need it anymore
- My family would be better off without me.
Ways you can Help
It has been found that when a person is prevented from completing suicide, they are extremely grateful later. Many times the pain the person is experiencing can be decreased and will reconnect with a desire to live.
- Ask directly about suicide
- Be there for your student or friend
- Help connect to other resources