I’m Concerned About Someone
If you are worried that someone is in immediate danger or may have already acted on suicidal thoughts, call 911.
Most people thinking about suicide exhibit recognizable warning signs before ever taking any action. These include:¹
- Talking about killing oneself, feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, being a burden to others, feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing from activities
- Isolating from family and friends
- Looking for ways to end their lives
- Saying goodbye
- Giving away prized possessions
- Aggression, fatigue, sleeping too much or too little
- Displaying moods of depression, anxiety, loss of interest, irritability, humiliation, shame, agitation, or anger
- Relief or sudden improvement
New or changed behavior should raise red flags, particularly if related to a painful event, loss, or change.
- Look out for specific talk about suicide. Someone who is suicidal may say things like:
- “I don’t know how much longer I can take this”
- “They will be sorry once I’m gone”
- “I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up”
- “I’ve been saving up my pills in case things get really bad”
If someone you know is exhibiting any of these warning signs:
- Ask them openly and directly if they are thinking about suicide
- Ask them to tell you about what has been going on and LISTEN to them
- Avoid discussing the value of life, minimizing problems, or giving advice
- Link them to additional resources, let them know it is important to get help, and stay with them while exploring options
Easily accessible, 24/7 resources are available for someone in crisis. Share the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – and Crisis Text Line information – text ‘Got5’ to 741-741.
Learn more about the #BeThe1To campaign to spread the message about the five steps everyone can take to help someone in crisis.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Risk factors and warning signs. 2016. Retrieved from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.