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The Risk Factors & Warning Signs of Suicide

The month of September is designated as Suicide Prevention Month – bringing greater attention and understanding to suicide. Suicide occurs when people direct violence at themselves with the intent to end their lives, and as a result, may cause one’s own death.

In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and the 2nd leading cause of death among people ages 10-24 (CDC, 2018). As a public health concern, dedicating this month to this important topic can help to save lives in the community.

Factors of Suicide

Many variables can contribute to suicide. The most common are a combination of individual, relationship, community, and societal factors – leading individuals to put their lives in danger. Thankfully, experts are continuously researching the phenomenon of suicide and are providing education and insight into risk factors and warning signs of suicide.

Risk factors are characteristics or conditions that increase the chance that a person may try to take their life but might not be direct causes.

  • These risk factors can include:
  • Family history of suicide, child abuse, neglect, or trauma
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of mental disorders or substance use disorders, particularly depression
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
  • Easy access to lethal methods

View the complete list here.

Warning signs are behaviors that indicate someone is contemplating suicide.

These can include:

  • Frequently talking about death and dying
  • Unable to imagine or discuss their future
  • Giving away possessions; visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Feeling trapped, hopeless, helpless, or worthless
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Actively looking for a way to end their lives

View the complete list here.

Protective Factors

Although suicide cannot be prevented with certainty, research and clinical experience have identified protective factors that help individuals prevent further thoughts of suicide. From receiving effective clinical care and support, to easy access to a variety of clinical interventions, to family and community social support, these strategies can decrease suicide risk factors and can help reduce the rate of suicide.

You’re Not Alone

Lorenz Clinic is dedicated to providing support and resources to individuals who are experiencing thoughts of suicide. Our mental health providers are available to assist and serve various degrees of mental health issues, offering tools on how to manage thoughts of suicide with an approach tailored to individual needs.

To speak to someone at Lorenz Clinic about suicide, please contact us at 952-443-4600.

Other Resources

If you or someone you care about is thinking about suicide, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1–800–273–TALK (8255) immediately, or text “MN” to 741741. Suicide chat is also available.

For more information about this topic, visit the following:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
National Alliance on Mental Illness
American Association of Suicidology

Source:
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/riskprotectivefactors.html
https://afsp.org/risk-factors-and-warning-signs
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