Warning Signs for Suicide
- Talking about suicide or death
- Hopelessness or hopelessness
- Rage or uncontrollable anger
- Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities
- Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out
- Increased alcohol or drug use
- Withdrawing from friends, family and society
- Anxiety or agitation
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Dramatic mood changes
- Feeling there is no reason for living or no sense of purpose in life
If someone you know is exhibiting these warning signs, here are some ways that you can be helpful:
- Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
- Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
- Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
- Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
- Don’t dare him or her to do it.
- Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
- Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
- Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
- Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
- Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
Help is available 24 hours a day by calling Crisis Services at 716-834-3131 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (toll-free) at 1-800-273-TALK.
For more information on suicide statistics, the warning signs, and how to help, visit the American Association of Suicidology’s website at www.suicidology.org