National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Textline text

'START' 741-741

Someone threatening to hurt or kill themselves or talking about wanting to die. Especially if the person has a weapon or item to hurt themselves.

Someone talking, writing, or posting on social media about death and suicide when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person.

Call 911 or emergency services if you see or hear the following: 

Searching for ways to kill themselves by seeking access to lethal means-whether that is online or physically in the moment of despair.

Signs for suicide

Suicide does not have one single cause. However, there are risk factors and warning signs which may increase the likelihood of an attempt. Learning them can save lives.

If you or someone you know is in a crisis,

call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(US) 1-800-273-8255 

OR Text 'START' to 741-741.

Risk factors do not cause or predict a suicide, rather they are characteristics or conditions that increase the chance that a person may consider, attempt or die by suicide.

Something to look out for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or change. Most people who take their lives exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do. 

What leads to suicide?

There's no one single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors and heath issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide. Yet it's important to not that most people who actively manage their mental health conditions go on to engage in life.

signs of suicide 

If a person talks about:

  • killing themselves 

  • feeling hopeless or having no purpose 

  • having no reason to live 

  • being a burden to others 

  • feeling trapped

  • unbearable pain 



People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

  • depressed 

  • anxious 

  • loss of interest 

  • irritability 

  • humiliation/shame 

  • agitation/anger/ reckless

  • relief/sudden improvement 


Behaviors may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change:  

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs 

  • Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods 

  • Withdrawing from activities 

  • Isolating from family and friends 

  • Sleeping too much or too little 

  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye 

  • Giving away prized possessions 

  • Aggression 

  • Fatigue

Risk Factors 

- Mental Illnesses: 

  • Depression

  • Substance Abuse Disorder

  • Bipolar Disorder 

  • Schizophrenia 

  • Certain Personality Disorders 

  • Conduct disorder 

  • Anxiety Disorders 

- Major physical or chronic illnesses

- Traumatic brain injury 



  • Previous suicide attempts

  • Family history of suicide 

  • Childhood abuse, neglect or trauma 

  • Stigma associated with asking for help 


  • Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs 

  • Prolonged stress, such as harassment, bullying, relationship problems or unemployment 

  • Stressful life event, like rejection, divorce, financial crisis, other life transitions or loss

  • Exposure to another person's suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide 

  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation

  • Lack of health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment 

Protective factors

Protective factors are characteristics that make a person less likely to engage in suicidal behavior. Moreover, protective factors can promote resilience and ensure connectedness with others during difficult times, thereby making suicidal behaviors less likely. 

  • Support through ongoing medical and mental health care relationships 

  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution and handling problems in a non-violent way 

  • Cultural and religious beliefs that encourage connecting and help-seeking, discourage suicidal behavior, or create a strong sense of purpose or self-esteem

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical and substance abuse disorders

  • Easy access to variety of clinical interventions 

  • Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide 

  • Strong connections to family and community support

"With Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to suicide prevention through improving mental health support services and education in our schools and throughout our community."

DISCLAIMER: The diagnosis and treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders requires a trained medical professional. Information contained in this website reflects the opinions of With Hope Foundation, and is intended for educational purposes only. It should NOT be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment of any mental/psychiatric disorders. Please consult a medical professional if the information here leads you to believe you or someone you know may be depressed.

© 2022 Copyright With Hope, the Amber Craig Memorial Foundation. All rights reserved.
With Hope, the Amber Craig Memorial Foundation | P.O. Box 550 | Placentia, CA 92871 | (714)-524-1996