Suicide is a desperate cry for help for a person whose life circumstances have led to such deep pain that they see no other option. There are often clues or warming signs that indicate an individual is considering suicide. Recognizing these warning signs is the key to prevention.
1. Threatens to end his or her life
2. Implies that he or she will not be around in the future
3. Gives away prized personal possessions
4. Has purchased or acquired a rope or gun
5. Exhibits extreme self-dissatisfaction which is often due to loss (of a loved one, employment, health, and /or money)
6. Has accumulated a large supply of pills
7. Exhibits personality and behavior changes
8. Falls into periods of deep depression
9. No longer cares about school, work, or social activities
10. Talks a lot about death, dying, and life after death possibilities
11. Shows a marked lack of energy or enthusiasm
12. Isolates him/herself from friends and family
It's important to understand that most suicidal individuals do give clues to others about how they feel prior to taking action. It's not uncommon, however, for someone who is suicidal to suddenly appear to be feeling better just before they make an attempt. This is often due to the fact that they have a plan and are feeling more hopeful that they will soon be free of emotional pain.
1. Listen - showing you care can make the difference between a person attempting suicide or seeking help.
2. If you suspect someone is suicidal, don't be afraid to talk about it. The clues that you may be seeing or hearing are often an unconscious invitation for your to help. Most suicidal people have opposing feelings about dying. Ask the person about their feelings and share the changes or clues that you have noticed. Let the person know that you want to help.
3. Get support for yourself.
Santa Barbara Emergency Psychiatric Evaluation Team
24 Hour Crisis Hotline: (888) 868-1649 from a land line and (800) 400-1572 from a cell phone
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)