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  • Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

Suicide: Warning Signs & How to be Helpful

A suicide is horrible for everyone. When we lose a youth to suicide it can be even harder

to cope with. When I heard about the recent suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer it brought to mind how it can be difficult to identify warning signs of suicide. Here are a few warning signs:

  1. Threatening to hurt or kill him/herself, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill him/herself.

  2. Looking for ways to kill him/herself.

  3. Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person.

  4. Increased substance use (alcohol and/or drugs).

  5. No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life.

  6. Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time.

  7. Feeling trapped – like there is no way out.

  8. Hopelessness.

  9. Withdrawing from family, friends, and society.

  10. Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge.

  11. Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities,seemingly without thinking.

  12. Dramatic mood changes.

On my website I have a suicide article that discusses the facts and how to be helpful. Watch to see if your child is participating in online forums like that allow kids to make comments anonymously. I was interviewed on FOX 4 News about this website. Watch the segment here. Also, if you'd like a few tips about how to bullyproof your children here is another FOX 4 segment on the topic.

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