Suicide: Signs to Look Out for

Suicide continues to be a problem in society. I was reminded of this recently when I saw a post on Facebook from a mother who’s daughter had committed suicide in her room several years prior. She made a post on the date two years later as a warning to other parents on some of the signs she missed. Her daughter was a great student with many friends, but some of the signs were there and she wanted to make sure all parents recognized them in their own children.

The American Association of Suicidology advocates asking a person directly if they exhibit warning signs of suicide. The following is a list of behaviors that may necessitate this action, whether or not communicated directly or outwardly:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill themselves, or talking or wanting to hurt or kill themselves
  • Looking for ways to kill themselves by seeking access to firearms, pills, or other means
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary
  • Increased substance (alcohol or drug) use
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all of the time
  • Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and society
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • Giving away prized possessions or seeking long-term care for pets

Suicide Prevention is Everyone’s Business

“Suicide Prevention is Everyone’s Business” is this year’s campaign by the American Association of Suicidology in observance of National Suicide Prevention Month.  

Know the signs, be aware, ask questions, be kind, and seek professional help for you or for others. Learn more and get involved in advocating by checking out resources from groups like the American Association of Suicidology and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. 

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741 741

Counseling Schools has put together a National Suicide Prevention Month Advocacy Guide. Here is a link to it for more information: