Suicide prevention starts with everyday heroes like you.
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What leads to suicide?
There’s no single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase the risk for suicide. Yet it’s important to note that most people who actively manage their mental health conditions lead fulfilling lives.
Suicide Warning Signs
Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do.
If a person talks about:
• Being a burden to others
• Feeling trapped
• Experiencing unbearable pain
• Having no reason to live
• Killing themselves
Specific things to look out for include:
• Increased use of alcohol or drugs
• Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means
• Acting recklessly
• Withdrawing from activities
• Isolating from family and friends
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
• Giving away prized possessions
People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:
• Loss of interest
• Mental health conditions
o Bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder
o Borderline or antisocial personality disorder
o Conduct disorder
o Psychotic disorders, or psychotic symptoms in the context of any disorder
o Anxiety disorders
• Substance abuse disorders
• Serious or chronic health condition and/or pain
• Stressful life events which may include a death, divorce, or job loss
• Prolonged stress factors which may include harassment, bullying, relationship problems, and unemployment
• Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs
• Exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide
• Previous suicide attempts
• Family history of suicide attempt or loss
• Trauma ie.abuse, domestic violence
Have an honest conversation
If you think someone is thinking about suicide, assume you are the only one who will reach out. Here’s how to talk to someone who may be struggling with their mental health.1. Talk to them in private
1. Talk to them in private
2. Listen to their story
3. Tell them you care about them
4. Ask directly if they are thinking about suicide
5. Encourage them to seek treatment or to contact their doctor or therapist
6. Avoid debating the value of life, minimizing their problems or giving advice
If a person says they are considering suicide
• Take the person seriously
• Stay with them
• Help them remove lethal means
• Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
• Text TALK to 741741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7
• Escort them to mental health services or an emergency room
If you or someone you know is struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1 800 273 8255
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