Know the Warning Signs

Check for these warning signs to determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.

  • Talking about wanting to die or killing themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Repetitive stressful events
  • Extreme mood swings

If a friend or loved one is considering suicide ...

  • Be direct and talk openly with them
  • Listen and allow them to express their feelings
  • Get involved and make yourself available to them
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available
  • Take action to remove lethal means
  • Encourage them to seek help from a licensed professional

If a friend or loved one is considering suicide, DON'T ...

  • Be judgmental, debate them or lecture them.
  • Dare them to do it.
  • Act shocked - this will put distance between you.
  • Allow them to swear you to secrecy.

Don't wait until you're in crisis to reach out.

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