Suicide Prevention

  • Know the Risk Factors

    Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. They can't cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they're important to be aware of. 

    • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
    • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
    • Hopelessness
    • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
    • History of trauma or abuse
    • Major physical illnesses
    • Previous suicide attempt(s)
    • Family history of suicide
    • Job or financial loss
    • Loss of relationship(s)
    • Easy access to lethal means
    • Local clusters of suicide
    • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
    • Stigma associated with asking for help
    • Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
    • Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
    • Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

     

    Know the Warning Signs

    Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help by calling the Lifeline. 

    • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
    • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
    • 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

    Self-Care During Difficult Times

    Whether living through this COVID-19 pandemic or navigating the holiday season, it can be a difficult and stressful time for many. That’s why it’s so important to stop and listen to your own needs too. Here are some self-care ideas:

    • Take a walk outside
    • Write a love letter to yourself
    • Write about something you are grateful for in your life (it can be a person, place, or thing)
    • Create a happy playlist and a coping playlist
    • Treat yourself to a favorite snack
    • Watch your favorite movie
    • Forgive someone
    • Forgive yourself
    • Say thank you to someone who has helped you recently
    • Create a DIY self-care kit of things that make you feel better
    • Take your medication on time
    • Take a new fitness class at the gym (yoga, Zumba, etc.)
    • Plan a lunch date with someone you haven’t seen in a while
    • Pamper yourself with an at-home spa day
    • Take a day off from social media and the Internet
    • Reach out to your support system
    • Cuddle with your pets or a friend’s pet
    • Take the time to stop, stand and stretch for 2 minutes
    • Wake up a little earlier and enjoy a morning cup of tea or coffee before the morning rush
    • Take a hot shower or bath
    • Take yourself out to or make yourself a nice dinner
    • Volunteer
    • Start that one project you’ve been contemplating for a while
    • Sit with your emotions, and allow yourself to feel and accept them. It’s okay to laugh, cry, just feel whatever you’re feeling with no apologies!
    • Cook a favorite meal or treat from scratch
    • Take a 5-minute break in your day
    • Compliment someone (and yourself, too!)
    • Give yourself permission to say NO
    • De-clutter your mind: write down 5 things that are bothering you, and then literally throw them away
    • Donate 3 pieces of clothing that you no longer wear
    • Take the time to find 5 beautiful things during your daily routine
    • Take a mental health day from school, work, etc.
    • Take a nap
    • Reach out to a support group or hotline