10 Warning Signs to Look for in a Person Who May Be Suicidal

Warning Signs to Look for in a Person Who May Be Suicidal

More than half of suicides are men, but women statistically make more attempts. All suicides are on the rise, and the pandemic has just made this worse. As many suicides as there, there are 10 x as many attempts. Youth or teen rates of suicide are also on the increase. More conversation would help but it remains something people are ashamed to talk about and those who could benefit from something like suicide prevention training, like educators and parents don’t always do so. While a large majority of people committing suicide have had a history of mental health concerns, not all of them do. There are other factors, school, peers, alcohol and drug abuse, family issues, social problems, and so on.

Here are some of the things to look for

  1. Previous suicide attempts – Survivors are more likely to try again that same year and more likely to eventually be successful.  
  2. A recent knock to their self-esteem – Teens who are very critical of themselves and have poor self-esteem and feel like a failure are more at risk. 
  3. Experiencing problems with anger management – Teens are volatile sometimes, but this is more than that, expressing despair, desperation and having thoughts and feelings they struggle to manage.   
  4. Suicide or attempts in the family – If a parent or family member has attempted suicide or committed suicide then that puts a teen more at risk. 
  5. Threatening to hurt themselves – Teens might threaten to hurt themselves as a means of getting their own way about something.  
  6. Withdrawing from people and events – As well as not wanting to spend time with people and doing things they once enjoyed, this might also look like not changing out of dirty clothes, not showering or caring about their appearance, not eating properly or sleeping properly and not engaging with pets.   
  7. Giving up the things they own – Teens that give away belongings, for example, a favorite necklace to a younger sibling, might be considering suicide.
  8. Hurting themselves – Self-harm such as cutting is often a sign of depression or other mental health concerns that might mean they are suicidal.  
  9. Having a suicide plan – If you find a plan in their diary or on their device for committing suicide you might want to seek help from a professional and get suicide prevention training.
  10. Being very reckless – Acting out, driving recklessly, overindulging in substances, gambling, taking risks with their physical well-being is also a sign to be concerned about.  


The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide also known as SPTS USA is a place committed to raising awareness of the issue of teen suicides and to reducing its stigma and help save lives. It is a place you can go to for resources, training and support whether you are an educator, peer, parent or someone else, concerned about a teen in your life. It is also a place you can go to yourself if you are thinking about suicide and want help.

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