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Suicide is Preventable Help Save a Life

Did you know?

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for youth between 10 and 19 years of age.
  • One out of five Michigan high school students has contemplated suicide.
  • Most suicidal youths don't want to die, they just want to end the pain.  They don't see a way out.
  • A previous suicide attempt is the largest predictor of suicidal behavior.
  • 80% of teens who attempt suicide give clear warning signs.

Risk Factors - Do not cause suicide, but they can increase a student's risk for suicide

  • One of more suicide attempts
  • Access to guns or other lethal means of suicide
  • Mental health issues
  • Alcohol of substance abuse
  • Exposure to the suicide of a family member or friend
  • Social isolation
  • Stressful events, including relationship breakup, family problems, etc.
  • Bullying or harassment
  • History of abuse, trauma, or assault
  • Lack of coping or problem-solving skills
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies

Warning Signs - What you might see or hear that indicates a student MAY be suicidal

  • Makes a statement

"I wish I were dead," "What's the point of living?", "No one would miss me if I were gone."

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself

This could be through a status update, a tweet, a text, an image, a school assignment or any type of conversation.

  • Preoccupation with death - looking for a way to attempt suicide

Searching for a gun, pills, or other lethal means.  Having a realistic plan about where to get the means to die by suicide.

  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Dramatic mood swings and/or drastic personality change
  • Other behaviors
    • Signs of depression or anxiety
    • Feeling like a burden
    • Feeling trapped - no way out
    • Increased drug/alcohol abuse
    • Neglecting appearance
    • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
    • Drop-in grades
    • Engage in risk-taking behaviors

What You Can Do

  • Listen.  Allow them to express their feelings and listen for warning signs.
  • Ask Direct Questions: Talking about suicide does not plant the idea in their head.
    • Do you want to kill yourself?
    • Do you have a plan to kill yourself?
    • Do you have access to the means?
  • Keep a friend safe.  Stay with them until someone else arrives.  Ask if they have any weapons or objects that could harm them.  If so, remove them.
  • Get help right away.  Call a doctor, a mental health professional, or take your friend to the emergency room for a psychiatric evaluation.
  • Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255)