The Warning Signs
is a devastating act that almost always seems to take
friends and family members by surprise. But people often
give clues that they're thinking of suicide. Recognizing
the warning signs of suicide could result in a life being
Giving away cherished possessions and being preoccupied with death are red flags that a person is suicidal. Furthermore, the old saying that people who talk about suicide don't do it is simply not true. Often such talk is a cry for help before it's too late.
Another warning sign of suicide is depression. Any of these changes could indicate depression:
Anyone who is depressed or has recently been depressed is at risk for suicide. The following are also risk factors:
What to Do
If you suspect someone is considering suicide, take warning signs seriously. Don't assume it will blow over. Share your concerns with someone who's in a position to take charge.
Getting a person past a suicide crisis involves being very direct. Ask these questions:
If the answers indicate the person is serious about suicide, don't try to talk him or her out of it. But do try to make a deal with the person: that he or she won't do anything without talking to youor another trusted personfirst. Then get help. Talk to a responsible family member, school counselor, teacher or suicide prevention hotline immediately. If possible, have a trusted friend or relative stay with the person until the crisis is passed. Follow up with professional help. As a friend or family member, show understanding, compassion and caring, even though you may be angry with the person for putting you through this.
If You're Considering Suicide...
Reach out. Talk to a family member, friend or doctor. They'll be able to get you the help you need and deserve. Or call your local suicide hotline. You can find it in the community service pages of your telephone directory. It's hard to see it when you're feeling down, but getting help can help you understand that your life is valuable to yourself and others.