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What is suicide?

If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.

Suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Suicide: death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior.
Suicide attempt: a non-fatal, self-directed, potentially injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior. A suicide attempt might not result in injury.
Suicidal ideation: thinking about, considering, or planning suicide.

Warning Signs

-Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous

-Increased alcohol and drug use

-Aggressive behavior

-Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community

-Dramatic mood swings

-Talking, writing or thinking about death

-Impulsive or reckless behavior

Risk Factors

-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.


-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.



-This can help individuals contemplating suicide rethink their unhealthy thought processes and develop coping skills

-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

-Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)


-A combination of the both psychotherapy and medication

Where To Begin

Making an appointment with a mental health provider
Talking to your Doctor
Support Groups

All information taken from:

NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2018). Suicide.

NIMH - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. (2015). Depression (NIH Publication No. 15-3561). Bethesda, MD: U.S. Government Printing Office.