With young suicides in the news recently, it's important to be able to spot the warning signs. Grief Therapist, Georgena Eggleston, MA, LSP, CRS, joined us with helpful information.
15 Risk Factors for Suicide
A combination of individual, relationship, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of suicide. Risk factors are those characteristics associated with suicide—they might not be direct causes.
- Family history of suicide
- Family history of child maltreatment
- Previous suicide attempt(s)
- History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression
- History of alcohol and substance abuse
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
- Cultural and religious beliefs (e.g., belief that suicide is noble resolution of a personal dilemma)
- Local epidemics of suicide
- Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people
- Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
- Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
- Physical illness
- Easy access to lethal methods
- Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or to suicidal thoughts
Prepared by Dan Reidenberg of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE):
Suicide is not a common response to life’s challenges or adversity. The vast majority of people who experience bullying, the death of a friend, or any other adversity described in 13 Reasons Why do not die by suicide. In fact, most reach out, talk to others and seek help or find other productive ways of coping. They go on to lead healthy, normal lives.
- Suicide is never a heroic or romantic act.
- Suicide affects everyone and everyone can do something to help if they see or hear warning signs that someone is at risk of suicide.
- Talking opening and honestly about emotional distress and suicide is ok. It will not make someone more suicidal or put the idea of suicide in their mind. If you are concerned about someone, ask them about it.
- Knowing how to acknowledge and respond to someone who shares their thoughts of emotional distress or suicide with you is important. Don’t judge them or their thoughts. Listen. Be caring and kind. Offer to stay with them. Offer to go with them to get help or to contact a crisis line.
- While not everyone will know what to say or have a helpful reaction, there are people who do so keep trying to find someone who will help you. If someone tells you they are suicidal, take them seriously and get help.
- If you're struggling with thoughts of suicide, text "START" to 741741 or call 800-273-TALK (8255).
- BeyondYourGrief.com Suicide Prevention Video by Georgena Eggleston
- SBSNW.org – Locations of 10 Oregon Suicide Bereavement Support Groups, Upcoming Events and 15 Links to resources.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention -- Risk Factors and Warning Signs.