Warning Signs of Suicide
Suicide does not have one single cause. Certain factors like substance abuse and untreated depression can lead to higher risk of suicide just as having a robust social circle can help protect you from suicide. Read more about the warning signs, risk factors and protective factors of suicide.
Call 911 or the emergency service in your country if you see or hear the following:
- Someone threatening to hurt or kill him/herself or talking about wanting to die. Especially if the person has a weapon or item to hurt himself/herself.
- Searching for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to lethal means-whether that is online or physically in the moment of despair.
- Someone talking, writing, or posting on social media about death and suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person.
Warning signs are indicators that a person may be in acute danger and may urgently need help.
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself;
- Looking for a way to kill oneself;
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose;
- Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain;
- Talking about being a burden to others;
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs;
- Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless;
- Sleeping too little or too much;
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated;
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge; and
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call us at 1-800-345-5407.
This list of Warning Signs for Suicide was developed by an expert review and consensus process that included SAVE’s Executive Director and was informed by a review of relevant research and literature. Additional information about the warning signs can be found in the following published article: Rudd, M. D., Berman, A. L., Joiner, T. E., Jr., Nock, M. K., Silverman, M. M., Mandrusiak, M., et al. (2006). Warning signs for suicide: Theory, research, and clinical applications. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 36(3), 255-262.