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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

988  or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Textline text

'START' 741-741

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

Someone talking, writing, texting. or posting on social media about death and suicide .

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

Someone searching for ways to kill themselves by seeking access to lethal means, physically or online in a moment of despair.

Signs for suicide

There is no one cause for Suicide. However, there are risk factors and warning signs which may increase the likelihood of an attempt. Learn more about these and the protective factors of suicide. 

If you or someone you know is incrisis,

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 for when concerned that a person may be suicidal is a change in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors. This becomes a great concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss, or major life change. These warning signs are indicative of a person in imminent danger and who may urgently need help.

What leads to suicide?

There is no one single cause for suicide. Suicide most often occurs when stressors and health 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 abuse problems, especially when unaddressed, increase the risk for suicide.  It's important to note 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:

  • depression 

  • anxiety

  • loss of interest 

  • irritability 

  • humiliation/shame 

  • agitation/anger/recklessness

  • relief/sudden improvement 


Behaviors may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss, or major life 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/ Feeling fatigued 

  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye 

  • Giving away prized possessions 

  • Aggressive/Confrontational

  • Rage/Seeking Revenge

Risk Factors 

- Mental Illnesses: 

  • Depression

  • Substance Use Disorder

  • Bipolar Disorder 

  • Schizophrenia 

  • Certain Personality Disorders 

  • Conduct Disorder 

  • Anxiety Disorders 

- Major Physical or Chronic Illnesses

- Traumatic Brain Injury 

Health Factors

Life Events

  • 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 events, 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 promote resiliency and connectedness, and make a person less likely to engage in suicidal behavior. 

  • 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 a variety of clinical interventions 

  • Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide 

  • Strong connections to family and community support

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