Red Alert on Suicide


Red Alert on Suicide
Red Alert on Suicide

Depression carries a high risk of suicidal intention. Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very seriously. The best way to minimize the risk of suicide is to know the risk factors and to recognize the warning signs of suicide. Take these signs seriously. Know how to respond to them. It could save someone's life.

Prevalence of Suicide

Suicide is a potentially preventable public health problem; millions of people attempted suicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control.Men take their lives nearly four times the rate of women, accounting for 79% of suicides.

Suicidal Risk Factors

Risk factors for suicide vary by age, gender, and ethnic group. And risk factors often occur in combinations. Over 90% of people who die by suicide have clinical depression or another diagnosable mental disorder. Many times, people who die by suicide have an alcohol or substance abuse problem. Often they have that problem in combination with other mental disorders.

  • Clinical depression
  • One or more prior suicide attempts
  • Family history of mental disorder or substance abuse
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family violence
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Keeping firearms in the home
  • Chronic physical illness, including chronic pain
  • Incarceration
  • Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others
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Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Always talking or thinking about death
  • Clinical depression — deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse
  • Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights
  • Losing interest in things one used to care about
  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
  • Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
  • Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn't here” or “I want out”
  • Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
  • Talking about suicide or killing one's self
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye



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