suicide warning signs

People who take their own lives usually exhibit one or more warning signs, either through what they say or what they do. The more warning signs, the greater the risk.


If a person talks about:

  1. Killing themselves.
  2. Having no reason to live.
  3. Being a burden to others.
  4. Feeling trapped.
  5. Unbearable pain.


A person’s suicide risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased, especially if it’s related to a painful event, loss, or change.

  1. Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  2. Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means.
  3. Acting recklessly.
  4. Withdrawing from activities.
  5. Isolating from family and friends.
  6. Sleeping too much or too little.
  7. Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  8. Giving away prized possessions.
  9. Aggression.


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

  1. Depression.
  2. Loss of interest.
  3. Rage.
  4. Irritability.
  5. Humiliation.
  6. Anxiety

Professional Organizations That Can Provide Information or a Referral

  • American Psychiatric Association1-888-357-7924 and press 0
  • American Psychological Association1-800-964-2000
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • U.S. Substance and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)