Call 911 if you see or hear the following:
Someone threatening to hurt or kill him/herself or talking about wanting to die. Especially if the person has a weapon or item to hurt themself.
Searching for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to lethal means-whether that is online or physically in the moment of despair.
Someone talking, writing, or posting on social media about death and suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person.
Risk factors do not cause or predict a suicide, rather they are characteristics that make it more likely an individual will consider, attempt or die by suicide.
Health Risk Factors
Certain health factors play a major role in suicide ideation.
Someone considering suicide may exhibit one or more of the following characteristics.
Someone thinking about suicide might talk about:
Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to painful event, loss or change:
People considering suicide often display one or more of following moods:
Protective factors are characteristics that make a person less likely to engage in suicidal behavior.
Groups at Elevated Risk
Certain groups are have increased susceptibility to suicide ideation.
Based on these factors, do you recognize someone at risk?
If you think someone may be contemplating suicide the following recommendations have been shown to reduce the risk.
- Find a time to privately let the person know what you have observed and express your concern. Stay calm and listen carefully to learn what the individual is thinking and feeling.
- Be supportive but direct; ask them are they considering taking their own life. If they express a sense of hopelessness or suicidal thoughts, be sympathetic, but realize the person needs professional help. Do not leave them alone or promise confidentiality.
Attempt to reach agreement on a safety plan that may include but not limited to:
- Offer to help them eliminate access to lethal means, firearms, pill, etc.
- Convince them to seek professional help and be willing to accompany them.
- Convey to them a sense of hope and remind them that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
- Talk to a family member to insure they are aware of the risk.
Once the person is safe, follow up to see how they are doing.
Studies and experts in the field generally agree these recommendations tend to reduce the risk of suicide.
Please visit our resource page for links to emergency services and mental health and counseling professionals.