How do I know if a youth is at risk for suicide?

The following signs and risk factors may be helpful to you in determining if a youth is at risk. (Source: the Samaritans)

Verbal Signs

  1. "I want to kill myself."
  2. "I don't want to be here anymore."
  3. "No one understands me."
  4. "I can't take it anymore."
  5. "Things will never get better."
  6. "I'm tired of being a burden to my friends and family."
  7. "No one would miss me if I were gone."

Physical Changes

  1. Significant change in appetite
  2. Suddenly not caring about appearances or cleanliness
  3. Unexplained cuts, scrapes or bruises
  4. Appearing tired all the time or sleeping too much or too little

Acting Differently

  1. Changes in mood: more withdrawn, anxious or sad, or sudden mood lift after a down period
  2. Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  3. Suddenly taking more risks: not taking prescribed medication, drunk driving, ignoring physical limitations, having unprotected sex, using more drugs or alcohol
  4. Loss of concentration
  5. Withdrawing from friends and family
  6. Losing interest in things that used to be enjoyed
  7. Not planning for the future
  8. Hurting oneself on purpose
  9. Thinking and talking about death a lot
  10. Unexplained good-byes or unusual personal expressions that have a sense of closure


  1. Recently having lost a loved one, relationship or job
  2. Having money problems
  3. Having questions or worries about being gay, bisexual or transgender
  4. Previous suicide attempts
  5. Recent death of a loved one
  6. Problems in an important relationship
  7. Problems at work or school, decline in academic function, or college rejection
  8. Social isolation or significant change in peer group

Whether or not a youth has acknowledged suicidal intent, if you are concerned about the possibility, call his or her parent(s) or guardian right away.   The parent should then call a Needham-link crisis line immediately.  This information is on the right hand side of each of the web pages on this site.  Someone will help the parent(s) or guardians determine what to do.



Hurting yourself is NEVER
the right answer.
There are people who can help.

For immediate help call
911 or

Riverside Emergency Services

Newton Wellesley Hospital

To talk with someone call
Samariteen Hotline
1-800-252-TEEN (8336)

Samaritan Helpline
1-877-870-HOPE (4673)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Support and Help Around You