What Are The Risk Factors and Warning Signs of Suicide?
Because every suicidal person is different, their warning signs and risk factors may not be the same. Answering “yes” to one of the quiz questions may be enough to indicate the person is suicidal. On the other hand, it may not be. That’s why it is important to start asking questions.
The Importance of Asking About Suicide
Asking about suicide is a critical part of helping save a life. Be persistent. You don’t want to run the risk of never seeing your friend or loved one again.
Ways to Ask “The Question”
So now you may be wondering how to ask about suicide. The best way is to be caring but direct, such as:
You know how much you mean to me. Right now I am really worried about you because some of the things you’ve been saying and doing make we wonder if you are having suicidal thoughts. I need to know, are you considering killing yourself?
Or you can be even more direct and simply say: Are you thinking about suicide?
What Do I Do Once I Know They Are Suicidal?
Okay. Now you know you are dealing with suicidal thoughts. It doesn’t do your friend or loved one any good if you’re the only person who knows. They need help. And they need it quick, before they spiral into suicidal behavior that can result in serious injury or even death.
Find an adult you trust who can assist your friend or loved one in getting the life-saving help they need, such as a parent, teacher or counselor. Bring them in right away. This is too hard for you to handle by yourself – and it’s too important for you to wait.
Telling someone about your friend’s suicidal thoughts may be difficult. Many times the suicidal person will ask you to keep their secret. They may even make threats to stop being your friend if you tell anyone. But they need your help, even if they don’t realize it themselves. And sometimes that means making tough choices.
Other important resources for someone who is suicidal include local mental health centers. For a list of mental health centers in Wyoming, click here.
Another resource you can always use or give to a friend or loved one is the number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Myth-Buster: Some people say that talking about suicide with someone who’s depressed or struggling will put the idea of suicide in their head. Or maybe if they’re thinking about it already, you’ll push them over the edge just by asking about suicide. Don’t believe it. When you ask someone you care about if they are considering suicide, you give them a chance to talk about something that’s probably a big secret they haven’t shared with anyone else – something that is probably eating them away inside. Asking them to share this with you may be one of the best things you can do.
Myth Buster: Some people think, “Well I’m close to this person. I can deal with this. I can fix the situation.” Don’t kid yourself. Suicide is bigger than any one person to handle alone. In most cases of suicide there is a lot going on – mental health issues, drugs or alcohol, and/or situations that the suicidal person just can’t handle anymore. This is the kind of stuff that trained and caring professionals can help with, but in every case you want as many resources brought in to help as possible. Don’t fool yourself into going it alone.