It is estimated that 70% of those that die by suicide indicate warning signs prior to their death. However, it is not uncommon for those at-risk to not only indicate dying clues, but also living clues-indicating ambivalence. It may not be easy to pick up the warning signs, but it is important to know what to look for. The below list provides a comprehensive list of warning signs. If you notice even one of these warning signs, take it seriously 100% of the time and take further action.
90% of completed suicides are completed by people experiencing symptoms of depression.
Be attentive for:
Talking about suicide or harming self
Everyone would be better off without me
I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up
Nobody understands-nobody feels the way I do
There’s nothing I can do to make it better
There’s no way out
I’d be better off dead
Next time I’ll do it right(referring to a failed suicide attempt)
Increase in risky/wreckless behavior
Getting affairs in order
Goodbye visits, messages or conversations
(Increased) Substance use
Previous suicidal thoughts or attempts
Giving away personal belongings
Isolation or withdrawal
Life or Situational Events:
Loss of a loved one
Loss of a relationship (divorce or break-up)
Significant financial changes
Declining health condition
How to Help
Always take any and all warning signs seriously.
Be willing to listen non-judgementally and ask more questions about how the person is feeling.
Ask if there has been a prior attempt-a prior attempt increases current risk.
Ask if they have thought about a plan, such as how, when, where. The more detailed the plan the more serious the risk.
Get the person immediate help. If risk is imminent and the person is willing to get help go the local Emergency Department. Consolidated Care provides crisis services at their locations in Urbana and Bellefontaine M-F from 8a-5p.
Call the Crisis Hotline at: 1-800-224-0422
Call 911. Many people are uncomfortable with calling the police for help. Trust that local law enforcement have been trained and are prepared to keep your loved one safe and get them the help they need.
Restrict access to any and all lethal means. Removing guns from home.
Where to Get Help
24hr local crisis hotline: 1-800-224-0422
Emergency Department of local hospital
Consolidated Care Inc-Behavioral health agency offering 24hr crisis services serving Logan & Champaign Counties
A free, confidential mental health screening program is offered to all schools in Logan & Champaign Counties. SOS, Signs of Suicide, is an evidenced based best practice for educating students on the risks for suicide and how to respond appropriately. The program also includes a free, confidential mental health screening that can help to identify students at risk for suicide.
A trained mental health professional visits classes and educates students in all schools. A parent consent form is distributed to students for the free, confidential screening. Students who turn in the consent form with parent permission participate in the screening. A team of mental health professionals coordinate the screening, and all students who participate meet one on one with a mental health professional to review the findings from the screening. For students that screen indicating current risk for suicide, anxiety, depression or substance use, parents are contacted and a referral is made for additional services.
To learn more, call the guidance dept of your school, or the MHDAS Board.