According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), every 15 minutes someone in the U.S. dies by suicide. Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can prevent suicides and save lives.
Evidence shows that providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm, and following up with loved ones are some of the actions we can all take to help others. By offering immediate counseling to everyone that may need it, local crisis centers provide invaluable support at critical times and connect individuals to local services.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. More information on symptoms can be found at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org or
Some warning signs may help you determine if someone one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help.
· Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
· Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
· Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
· Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
· Talking about being a burden to others
· Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
· Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
· Sleeping too little or too much
· Withdrawing or isolating themselves
· Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
· Extreme mood swings
Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. They can't cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they're important to be aware of.
· 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
· Previous suicide attempt(s)
· Family history of suicide
· Job or financial loss
· Loss of relationship(s)
· 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 healthcare, 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)
90% of the people who commit suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death, most often depression or bipolar disorder. It is CRITICAL that consistent helpful counseling services are engaged in when someone indicates symptoms of depression or other mental health disorder.