Warning Signs of Suicide
By Staff Writer
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention recommends taking any comment or behavior seriously that could indicate someone is thinking about suicide. Over 300,000 people die by suicide each year.
It was once thought that talking to someone about his/her suicide comment or behavior would somehow encourage them to think more about suicide. This is not true. Suicide comments or threats are also not to be considered as just attention-getting behavior. These comments and behaviors are warning signs of an individual under emotional distress.
It is important to talk with the individual about your concerns for their safety. You are giving them the message that you care and your discussion with them can help determine what assistance they may need. Stay with the individual until they obtain the assistance they need. Call Best Care EAP to discuss your concerns or for crisis counseling. Call 911 if emergency assistance is needed.
Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness; depression
Intense criticism of self or anger at self
Ideation (thinking, talking or wishing about suicide)
Sudden happiness or calmness, indicating a possible decision to commit
Making arrangements, such as getting one’s affairs in order
Giving away possessions or discussion of funeral arrangements and inheritance of possessions
Recklessness (high risk-taking behavior)
Substance use or abuse (increased risk of impulsive behavior)
Withdrawal from family, friends, work, school, or other important activities
Poor concentration or dramatic changes in mood
Changes in eating or sleeping patterns or other routine behaviors
Previous suicide attempts
Psychiatric disorders (major depression, bipolar disorder or other disorder involving depression)
Death of a friend or family member
The breakup of an important relationship
Loss of a job
Alcohol or other drug abuse
Physical or sexual abuse
Unwillingness to seek help or consider changes in unhealthy behavior
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention HOTLINE 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or 911. For additional information, access the National Suicide Prevention Website.
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