Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, with someone dying from suicide every 11 minutes. That’s why we want to shed light on the warning signs that someone may be considering suicide and give you tips on how to help friends and loved ones that may be struggling.
Recognizing the warning signs
The warning signs for suicide can include the following:
- Severe sadness or moodiness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Trouble sleeping
- Withdrawal from social interactions
- Changes in personality or appearance
- Dangerous or self-harmful behavior
- Discussing suicide or death
What to do
If someone is threatening suicide or is actively hurting themselves, call 9-1-1 and try not to leave them alone so long as you are not in danger. If the situation is not that immediate, but you suspect someone is suicidal, talk to them about it. Mentioning suicide or discussing it is not going to push them over the edge or make them act. Talk to this person privately, listen without judgment, and be compassionate. Ask them directly if they are considering suicide, and act accordingly.
Helping someone that is exhibiting suicidal behavior may include connecting them to the right resources. Maybe they don’t want to open up to you or don’t feel safe. It’s important you hear that and let them know there are options. While you may not be the person they want to talk to, encourage them to talk to someone or consider counseling.