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Let’s talk about suicide and what you should know and what you can do to save your own or a friend’s life.

You may be surprised to learn that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among youth between 10 and 19 years of age.[1] One out of five Michigan high school students have contemplated suicide.[2]

Suicide can be preventable. And that starts with knowing the warning signs.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself. This could be through a status update, a tweet, a text, an image, or any type of conversation.
  • Preoccupation with death - looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or obtaining a gun.
  • Withdrawing from friends and family members.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Dramatic mood swings and/or a drastic personality change.
  • Feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Losing interest in activities once enjoyed (e.g., sports or hobbies).
  • Engaging in dangerous risks or behaving recklessly. This may include using drugs or alcohol to cope.
  • Sudden change in eating and sleeping habits, and/or appearance.
  • Reaching out to people to say goodbye.
  • Giving away prized or favorite possessions.

What if suicidal thoughts are present in your life?

  • The most important thing to know is that no matter how difficult and challenging the situation, suicide is never the answer!
  • If you are feeling down or believe you are trapped in a dark place, it may seem as if nothing will make things better. There are other choices you can make, like reaching out to someone and letting that person know you are struggling.
  • Feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide are often temporary feelings. Your family, friends, teachers, or school counselor are all willing to help you overcome them. Talk to somebody and let them know you need help.
  • Don’t ever be ashamed of how you are feeling; you feel how you feel.
  • If feelings of depression and despair persist, please don’t give up. Get help right now.
  • The most courageous people are those who admit they need help. With appropriate support, your life can get better.
  • Remember, with help comes hope.

What if you are worried about someone you know?

Did you know four out of five teens who attempt suicide give clear warning signs?[3] It is our job to help our friends and peers who feel they have nowhere to turn. 

If you are concerned a friend might be struggling with suicide, don't be afraid to talk to him or her about the problem.  Ask the person: “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” It’s not an easy question, but studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicide or suicidal thoughts. It lets the person know they are seen, they are cared for, and they matter.

  • But most importantly, if you are worried someone is at risk, tell a trusted adult or contact OK2SAY.
  • Use your knowledge, and your heart, to stand up for those who can’t stand. Speak for those who can’t speak. And be a beacon of light for those whose lives have become dark.

> Ways to Get Help