In recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, SAVE invites you to participate in the LEARN, LIVE, and SAVE quiz contest! The purpose of the contest is to encourage participants to learn about the risk factors and warning signs associated with suicide and how to identify individuals who might be at risk and require intervention. Complete the steps below to be entered to win!
- Follow SAVE on social media to continue learning and supporting the movement to prevent suicide all year long.
- Learn about suicide and how you can help someone struggling with suicidal thoughts.
- Enter the contest by taking the 10-question review quiz! Pass with an 80% score or better to automatically be entered to win SAVE swag and a $100 Amazon gift card!
Please review the contest rules and regulations before you begin.
Step 2: Learn
Learn how to identify someone who may be suicidal and what you can do to help keep them safe.
Facts about suicide
- Global Issue: Suicide is a significant global public health concern. It affects people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds in every part of the world.
- Prevalence: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. For every person who dies by suicide, there are many more who attempt it.
- Youth and Adolescents: Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people aged 15-29. Bullying, academic pressure, and mental health challenges are some of the factors that contribute to this risk.
- Mental Health Connection: Mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, are often associated with an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
- Warning Signs: Recognizing warning signs of suicide can help save lives. These signs might include talking about feeling hopeless, withdrawing from friends and family, giving away possessions, or expressing a desire to die.
- Reach Out: If you suspect someone might be struggling, don’t be afraid to ask directly if they’re thinking about suicide. This conversation can provide an opportunity for them to share their feelings and seek help.
- Help and Support: Effective prevention involves a combination of individual, community, and societal efforts. Encouraging open conversations about mental health, reducing stigma, and ensuring access to mental health services are crucial steps.
- Helplines: Many countries have helplines that provide confidential support for individuals in crisis. These helplines can be valuable resources for those who need someone to talk to.
- LGBTQ+ Individuals: LGBTQ+ individuals often face higher rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors due to factors such as discrimination, social isolation, and lack of acceptance. Creating inclusive and supportive environments is important.
- Means Reduction: Restricting access to lethal means, such as firearms and certain medications, can significantly reduce the risk of completed suicides.
- Postvention: After a suicide occurs, providing support to family, friends, and communities is known as postvention. It aims to help those affected cope with the loss and prevent further suicides.
- Media Guidelines: Responsible reporting of suicides in the media is essential to prevent contagion and copycat suicides. The way suicides are portrayed can influence how others perceive and respond to this issue.
Suicide prevention is a collective effort that requires compassion, understanding, and action from individuals, communities, and institutions. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please seek help by calling 988.
Warning Signs of Suicide
Knowing the warning signs of suicide helps us recognize when a friend, loved one, colleague, or even stranger is struggling with thoughts of suicide. When we know someone is struggling, we can take the right actions to help!
- Talking about suicide, expressing thoughts like “I want to kill myself” or “I wish I were dead”
- Acquiring means to take one’s own life, like buying a gun or stockpiling pills
- Withdrawing from friends and family and/or desiring isolation
- Experiencing mood swings, going from emotional highs to deep discouragement
- Showing fixation on death, dying, or violence
- Expressing feelings of being a burden to others
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness/feeling trapped in a situation
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
- Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns
- Engaging in risky or self-destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse or reckless driving
- Giving away possessions or organizing affairs without an apparent reason
- Saying goodbye to people as if it’s the final farewell
- Displaying personality changes, severe anxiety, or agitation, especially when combined with other warning signs mentioned above.
Risk Factors of Suicide
Risk factors do not cause or predict a suicide, but rather, are characteristics that increase the risk of an individual considering, attempting or dying by suicide.
You may be at risk of suicide if you:
- Attempted suicide before
- Feel hopeless, worthless, agitated, socially isolated or lonely
- Experience a stressful life event, such as the loss of a loved one, military service, a breakup, or financial or legal problems
- Have a substance abuse problem — alcohol and drug abuse can worsen thoughts of suicide and make you feel reckless or impulsive enough to act on your thoughts
- Have suicidal thoughts and have access to firearms in your home
- Have an underlying psychiatric disorder, such as major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or bipolar disorder
- Have a family history of mental disorders, substance abuse, suicide, or violence, including physical or sexual abuse
- Have a medical condition that can be linked to depression and suicidal thinking, such as chronic disease, chronic pain or terminal illness
- Are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender with an unsupportive family or in a hostile environment
Get help for yourself
- Protect yourself during periods of suicidal thoughts. Ask a trusted friend or family member to securely store any objects or substances that may pose a risk to your safety until you feel more stable.
- Seek out a trusted individual and confide in them about your emotions. It could be a close family member, friend, teacher, or clergy member, someone who can provide a listening ear without passing judgment.
- Engage in healthy coping strategies to manage your emotions, such as journaling, spend time with a friend or a pet, or take a walk in nature.
- Arrange a meeting with a mental health professional. By consulting with a therapist, you can gain insight into your thoughts and emotions and acquire effective coping strategies.
Get help for someone else
- Determine if it’s a medical emergency. Call 911 for bodily harm or threats to oneself or others.
- Ask them directly if they’re thinking about suicide. Use specific words like “suicide,” “kill yourself,” or “take your life.” Examples: “Are you thinking about suicide?” “Do you ever consider suicide when feeling bad?” “Do you have a plan to end your life?”
- Listen without judgment. Let the person express themselves without interruption or minimizing their problems. Avoid shaming or trying to convince them that their situation isn’t serious.
- Respond with kindness and care. Take the person seriously. Stay with them until help arrives, remove dangerous objects, acknowledge their pain, accompany them to the ER or mental health clinic, or call 988 or 911 together.
- Follow up and support their transition to recovery. Within 24-48 hours, reach out to them in person (if appropriate), through a phone call, or via text to check in and offer your continued assistance.