Warning Signs: Suicide Prevention

Although we may not know why someone has chosen suicide as an option, there are some warning signs.  If you know a person exhibiting any of these signs please be a friend and talk with him or her and get help.  Do not ignore these signs, if a person “jokingly” talks about suicidal thoughts please take this seriously.  Jokes may be a cry for help.  You can help someone by talking and being encouraging remind the person that, “there is always a brighter tomorrow and it involves him or her.”  Suicide is 100% preventable.  We need to be mindful of one another and communicate with our friends, family, and co-workers.

Warning signs of suicide include:

  • Observable signs of serious depression:
    Unrelenting low mood
    Pessimism
    Hopelessness
    Desperation
    Anxiety, psychic pain and inner tension
    Withdrawal
    Sleep problems
  • Increased alcohol and/or other drug use
  • Recent impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
  • Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die
  • Making a plan:
    Giving away prized possessions
    Sudden or impulsive purchase of a firearm
    Obtaining other means of killing oneself such as poisons or medications
  • Unexpected rage or anger

(American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2011)