More people in the world die from suicide than from war and murder combined. September 10, 2015 is World Suicide Prevention Day, and you can make a difference. By Taking 5 minutes to get involved and become informed, you will be a part of a worldwide movement to save lives.
About Suicide Prevention
Risk factors are characteristics or circumstances that indicate an increase in the chance of that person dying by suicide. Risk factors are important to determine as they help alert gatekeepers (friends, family members, health professionals, etc.) of heightened suicide risk.
Some Risk factors include:
- Mental disorders; particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
- History of trauma or abuse
- Major physical illnesses or chronic illnesses
- Previous suicide attempt
- Family history of suicide
- Recent job or financial loss
- Recent loss of relationship
- Easy access to lethal means
- Local clusters of suicide
- Lack of social support and sense of isolation
- Stigma associated with asking for help
- Lack of health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
- Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)
For more information on risk factors for suicide click here.
Warning signs are indicators that help gatekeepers recognize when a person may be in acute danger of suicide and may urgently need help. Being aware of these signs may prevent a suicide from happening.
Call 9-1-1 or seek immediate help from a mental health provider when you hear or see any of these behaviors:
- Someone threatening to hurt or kill him/herself, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill him/herself
- Someone looking for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
- Someone talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
Seek help by contacting a mental health professional or calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for a referral should you witness, hear, or see anyone exhibiting any one or more of these behaviors:
- Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
- Feeling trapped – like there’s no way out
- Increased alcohol or drug use
- Withdrawing from friends, family and society
- Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
- Dramatic mood changes
If you are suicidal or you think someone you know is, we want you to know that help is available and recovery is possible.
Start by learning the warning signs, and do whatever you can to get yourself or someone you care about to the help they need so that they can return to living a fully functioning life.
This list of Warning Signs for Suicide was developed by an expert review and consensus process informed by a review of relevant research and literature. Additional information about the warning signs can be found in the following published article: Rudd, M. D., Berman, A. L., Joiner, T. E., Jr., Nock, M. K., Silverman, M. M., Mandrusiak, M., et al. (2006). Warning signs for suicide: Theory, research, and clinical applications. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 36(3), 255-262.