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)
- "I want to kill myself."
- "I don't want to be here
- "No one understands me."
- "I can't take it anymore."
- "Things will never get better."
- "I'm tired of being a burden
to my friends and family."
- "No one would miss me if
I were gone."
- Significant change
- Suddenly not caring about appearances
- Unexplained cuts, scrapes or
- Appearing tired all the time
or sleeping too much or too little
- Changes in mood:
more withdrawn, anxious or sad, or sudden mood lift after a down
- Changes in eating or sleeping
- Suddenly taking more risks: not
taking prescribed medication, drunk driving, ignoring physical
limitations, having unprotected sex, using more drugs or alcohol
- Loss of concentration
- Withdrawing from friends and
- Losing interest in things that
used to be enjoyed
- Not planning for the future
- Hurting oneself on purpose
- Thinking and talking about death
- Unexplained good-byes or unusual personal expressions
that have a sense of closure
- Recently having lost
a loved one, relationship or job
- Having money problems
- Having questions or worries about
being gay, bisexual or transgender
- Previous suicide attempts
- Recent death of a loved one
- Problems in an important relationship
- Problems at work or school,
decline in academic function, or college rejection
- 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.