Warning Signs of Suicide

“Warning Signs of Suicide,” How to Help (2018).

“Warning Signs of Suicide,” How to Help.

Warning Signs of Suicide

Most people who attempt suicide do not want to die; they simply want relief from the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain they are going through. Many people in crisis show warning signs before they attempt suicide. If you learn to recognize the warning signs, you will be better prepared to minister to those who need help. Listen for statements such as “I don’t care if I die” or “Everyone would be better off without me.” Warning signs include the following behaviors:

  • Looking for a way to kill themselves

  • 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 their use of alcohol or drugs

  • Giving away personal items for no reason

  • Acting anxious or agitated or behaving recklessly

  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves

  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

  • Displaying extreme mood swings (see National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)

One warning sign by itself may not mean there is a crisis. But if the individual has a history of attempts or if you notice a sudden change in the individual or start seeing multiple signs, act immediately. Free crisis helplines and additional information are available at (See “How to Help Someone in Crisis” in this guide for more details.)

Despite our best efforts, not all suicides can be prevented. Some suicides happen without any obvious warning. You are not responsible for someone else’s choice to end their life.

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