Suicide Warning Signs

What are the warning signs that a suicide attempt may be imminent?

helping handsWarning signs suggest that a suicide attempt may be imminent within the next 24-48 hours. Presence of multiple warning signs suggests that the risk may be greater. 

Suicide Risk Warning Signs:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, including online searches for suicide-related topics or buying a firearm
  • 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 the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings
  • See the source Know the Warning Signs from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

 

How to help someone who is suicidal: 

Here are some ways to be helpful to someone who is threatening suicide:

  • Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
  • Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
  • Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
  • Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
  • Don’t dare him or her to do it.
  • Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.
  • Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
  • Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
  • Take action. Remove means, such as firearms or stockpiled pills.

Let us help you. Your Life Iowa is only a phone call or text away. We specialize in crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Click on Live Chat, call (855) 581-8111, or text (855) 895-8398.

Chat Now