Suicidal Behavior

Learning Objectives

  • Identify suicide warning signs and resources for further information about mental health issues

Suicide causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. On average, 130 Americans die by suicide each day. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–24-year-olds, and more than 9.4 million adults in the United States had serious thoughts of suicide within the past twelve months. But suicide is preventable, so it’s important to know what to do.

Warning Signs of Suicide

If someone you know is showing one or more of the following behaviors, he or she may be thinking about suicide. Don’t ignore these warning signs. Get help immediately.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

Resources

OK2TALK is a community for young adults struggling with mental health problems. It offers a safe place to talk.

How can you make a difference in suicide prevention? Learn about what to do if you think someone might be at risk for self-harm by reading these 5 Action Steps for Helping Someone in Emotional Pain.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFPS) has resources to help yourself or somebody else. They have guides to help members of BIPOC communities and there are links to help you connect with others. There are also great AFPS resources if you are experiencing grief because you have lost somebody. It’s important to remember you are not alone.

Get Help

If you think someone is in immediate danger, never leave that person alone—stay there and call 911.

Contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if you are experiencing mental health-related distress or are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

Connect with a trained crisis counselor. 988 is confidential, free, and available 24/7/365.

Visit the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline for more information at 988lifeline.org.

Contribute!

Did you have an idea for improving this content? We’d love your input.

Improve this pageLearn More