Suicide Prevention

Mental Health
and Wellness Portal
Coping with typical stressors of life


Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

InfographicSuicidal thoughts or behaviors are both damaging and dangerous. Someone experiencing these thoughts should seek immediate assistance from a health or mental health care provider. Having suicidal thoughts does not mean someone is weak or flawed.

Know the Warning Signs

Talking about:

  • wanting to die
  • great guilt or shame
  • being a burden to others

Feeling:

  • empty, hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live
  • extremely sad, more anxious, agitated or full of rage
  • unbearable emotional or physical pain

Changing behavior, such as:

  • making a plan or researching way to die
  • withdrawing from friends, saying goodbye, giving away important items, or makinga will
  • taking dangerous risks such as driving extremely fast
  • displaying extreme mood swings
  • eating or sleeping more or less
  • using drugs or alcohol more often

Risk Factors for Suicide

Research has found that more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition. A number of other things may put a person at risk of suicide, including:

  • A family history of suicide
  • Substance abuse. Drugs and alcohol can result in mental highs and lows that exacerbate suicidal thoughts
  • Intoxication. More than one in three people who die from suicide are found to be currently under the influence
  • Access to firearms
  • A serious or chronic medical illness
  • Gender. Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are four times more likely to die by suicide
  • A history of trauma or abuse
  • Prolonged stress
  • Isolation
  • Age. People under age 24 or above age 65 are at a higher risk for suicide
  • A recent tragedy or loss
  • Agitation and sleep deprivation
  • Sexual orientation. Stress resulting from prejudice and discrimination (family rejection, bullying, violence) is a known risk factor for suicide attempts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth.

Adapted from National Alliance on Mental Illness - Risk of Suicide

Protective Factors

Protective factors are personal or environmental characteristics that help protect people from suicide.

Major protective factors for suicide include:

  • Effective behavioral health care
  • Connectedness to individuals, family, community, and social institutions
  • Life skills (including problem solving skills and coping skills, ability to adapt to change)
  • Self-esteem and a sense of purpose or meaning in life
  • Cultural, religious, or personal beliefs that discourage suicide

Additional Resources: