Know the signs that someone might be at risk
Sept. 22, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic created conditions of isolation, loss and anxiety that can lead to suicidal thoughts. While suicide rates in the United States dropped slightly in 2020, they remain at historic highs. There is much we can do to identify and help vulnerable people.
Be aware of these signs that someone might be contemplating suicide:
- Self-destructive behavior, such as increased drug or alcohol use
- Anxiety, agitation, irritability, aggression
- Sleeplessness or sleeping too much
- Depression or mood swings
- Loss of interest
- Withdrawing from family and friends
If you recognize these signs in yourself or a loved one, there are steps that can be taken that can help avert a crisis.
Things you can do
- Connect to support systems through regular calls or texts.
- Set firm boundaries to help deal with difficult situations.
- Stay within your comfort zone.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Know there are people and resources available when things get hard.
Know the facts*
- Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S. in 2019.
- Suicide was the second-leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34.
- There were nearly two and a half times as many suicides (47,511) in the U.S. as there were homicides (19,141). About half of those suicides (23,914) involved a firearm.
Are you in crisis? Call 800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or text HELLO to 741741.
* Sources: The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).