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Know the Signs

You can make a difference by knowing the warning signs. Although no one can predict with 100% accuracy who will attempt suicide, the following circumstances and signals may indicate a risk for suicide.

A person might have experienced:

  • Recent break up of a significant relationship
  • Failure in classes
  • Death of someone . . especially if by suicide
  • Loss of a job and overwhelming financial difficulties
  • Losing “face“
  • Fear of being a burden to others

A person might express:

  • Hopelessness:
    • “I just don’t see the point of going on“
    • “I wish my life was over“
  • Feeling Trapped
    • “I don’t see anyway out of this”
  • Threats about harming themselves
    • Indirect:
      • “I’m so tired of it all, I just can’t go on“
      • “Being dead doesn’t sound all that bad to me“
      • “My family would be better off without me”
    • Direct:
      • “I wish I were dead“
      • “I’m going to end it all“
      • “I want to go to sleep and never wake up”

A person might exhibit:

  • Decreased class attendance
  • Increased drug/alcohol use
  • Chronic lack of energy
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Reckless or out of control behavior
  • Intense anger and aggression
  • Self-injurious behavior (e.g. cutting)
  • Abrupt changes in sleeping and eating
  • Dramatic changes in mood (depression, extreme fearfulness)
  • Putting personal affairs in order (e.g. giving away possessions)