1.1 Spot Suicide in Your Life 

You’ve likely reached this site as suicide has recently come into your life. No matter what brought you here, let’s start with understanding how to tell if someone is thinking about suicide. Researchers have found risk factors and warning signs that can help us spot someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Risk Factor
noun  |  risk fac-tor  |  \ ’risk ‘fak-tər \
Experiences or conditions that increase the chances of a person considering suicide

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Warning Sign
noun  | warn-ing sign  |  \ ‘wor-niŋ ‘sīn \
Characteristics displayed by a person who may be considering suicide

  • 80% of people thinking about suicide will display warning signs

  • Warning signs are most concerning when they are out of character for the person

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More information about this can be found on Know the Signs.

You may recognize some of these signs as ones you’ve ignored before. With no prior training around suicide, that’s completely normal. Now that you are aware, they can help alert you to check in with the person in need.

When you spot any of these signs, you should ask directly if suicide is on the person’s mind. Talking about suicide openly tears down the stigma around the topic and shows the person in need that you care. As it might seem scary or even feel unnatural, let’s take a look at how to ask.

Use any warning signs or risk factors you’ve observed as connectors to start the conversation. Here are some examples of how you can ask about suicide:

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While it’s important to know what the risk factors and warning signs for suicide are, there are also things that protect against suicide. Preventative care, family and friends, culture and religious beliefs are supportive things that act as protective factors. With more knowledge now around suicide, you are a strong protective factor in the lives of people in need.


© 2018 Suicide Is Different