Suicide: Warning signs and resources

Juan De Anda

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the more of these symptoms a person shows, the greater the risk. The following warning signs are associated with suicide:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Feeling isolated or withdrawing from social environments
  • Seeking ways to kill oneself
  • Showing anger or discussing revenge
  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose to live
  • Sharing notions of feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Talking about being a burden on people
  • Acting anxious, agitated or reckless

What to Do and Resources

If someone you know shows these warning signs, follow these steps:

  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Stay calm to respond more effectively and to reduce their anxiety or agitation
  • If the situation becomes dire or dangerous, call 911 or take them to an emergency room
  • Seek help from a medical or mental health professional
  • Do not minimize the situation or depth of feeling e.g. “It will get better tomorrow.”
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Call the San Francisco Suicide Prevention Center at 415-781-0500
  • Call the SF State clinical counseling office at 415-338-2208