Warning Signs

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:





Verbal Clues:

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)


Behavioral Clues:

Increase in risky/reckless 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

Job Loss

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 the risk is imminent and the person is willing to get help go to the local Emergency Department.  TCN Behavioral Health 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 has 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

  • Local Resources

  • 24hr local crisis hotline: 1-800-224-0422

  • Calling 911

  • Emergency Department of the local hospital

  • TCN Behavioral Health agency offering 24hr crisis services serving Logan & Champaign Counties 



School-Based Program

A free, confidential mental health screening program is offered to all schools in Logan & Champaign Counties.  SOS, Signs of Suicide, is an evidence-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 coordinates 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.