Risk Factors and Warning Signs

Most people who are feeling depressed or desperate enough to consider suicide give clues to how they’re feeling. You can be the first step towards help, for someone you care about, by learning to recognize these clues to suicide risk.

Warning Signs

  • Preoccupation with Suicide and/or Death

  • Feelings of Sadness or Hopelessness, often Accompanied by Anxiety

  • Declining School or Work Performance

  • Loss of Pleasure/Interest in Social and Sports Activities

  • Sleeping Too Little or Too Much

  • Changes in Weight or Appetite

Risk Factors

  • Family History of Suicide

  • Previous Suicide Attempts

  • Physical Illness

  • Physical, Sexual, Domestic, or Child Abuse

  • Relational, Social, Work or Financial Loss

  • Impulsive and/or Aggressive Behavior

  • People who have Experienced Violence

  • Suffering from Mental Health Disorders

  • Diagnosed or Un-diagnosed Mental Illness

  • Self-Harm (i.e. cutting, burning, hitting, etc.)

  • Homeless Students

  • Sexual Minority Youth

  • People Who Engage in Binge Drinking or Illegal Drug Use

Some Emotions A Suicidal Person May Feel

  • Depressed

  • Out of Control

  • Confused

  • Overwhelmed

  • Isolated

  • Worthless

  • Hopeless (Future)

  • Helpless (Immediate)

If you know someone for whom more than one of these is true, she or he may need your help. Not sure how to help? Call us at 800-273-TALK (8255).