Know the Signs

Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously. Do everything in your power to get a suicidal person the help the person needs: call a crisis line for advice and referrals, encourage the person to see a mental health professional, help locate a treatment facility, or take them to a doctor's appointment. According to CASP (The California Association of School Psychologists) the possible symptoms of at-risk youth for suicide include:

  • An indication that there have been previous attempts at suicide.
  • Plans or attempts to secure a means for suicide
  • Thinking or talking about suicide
  • Scratching, cutting or marking the body
  • Risk-taking behavior, such as running into traffic, jumping from heights, running away or general and unusual rebelliousness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Unusual neglect of personal appearance
  • Marked personality change
  • Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork
  • Frequent complaints about physical symptoms, often related to emotions, such as stomach aches, headaches, fatigue, etc.
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Not tolerating praise or rewards

A teenager who is planning to commit suicide may also:

  • Complain of being "rotten inside"
  • Give verbal hints with statements such as: "I won't be a problem for you much longer," "Nothing matters," "It's no use," "I won't see you again."
  • Put their affairs in order - for example, give away favorite possessions, clean their room, throw away important belongings, etc.
  • Become suddenly cheerful after a period of depression.

*If an emergency, call 911.

If not an emergency, contact The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Other resources:

Suicide Prevention Awareness

Suicide Prevention App

Walk in Our Shoes

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