Suicide

Is the individual in immediate danger?

Warning Signs of Suicide

Some common warning signs exist that can indicate that a student may be considering harming her/himself. These signs may be clear or subtle, and may or may not predict suicidal behavior. Evaluate the immediate risk of suicide by engaging the student in a conversation. Use the following warning signs to guide your conversation (list is not all inclusive):

TALK

If a person talks about:

  • Killing themselves
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Having no reason to live
  • Being a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped
  • Unbearable pain
Behavior

Behaviors that may signal risk, especially if related to a painful event, loss or change:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods
  • Withdrawing from activities
  • Isolating from family and friends
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Aggression
  • Fatigue
Mood

People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of interest
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation/Shame
  • Agitation/Anger
  • Relief/Sudden Improvement

Risk Factors of Suicide

Risk factors are characteristics or conditions that increase the chance that a person may try to take their life.

Health
  • Mental health conditions
    • Depression
    • Substance use problems
    • Bipolar disorder
    • Schizophrenia
    • Personality traits of aggression, mood changes and poor relationships
    • Conduct disorder
    • Anxiety disorders
  • Serious physical health conditions including pain
  • Traumatic brain injury
Environmental
  • Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs
  • Prolonged stress, such as harassment, bullying, relationship problems or unemployment
  • Stressful life events, like rejection, divorce, financial crisis, other life transitions or loss
  • Exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide
Historical
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide
  • Childhood abuse, neglect or trauma

Counseling

If you feel that any one of these applies to you, you may find it helpful to come to the University Counseling Center and talk it over with a counselor. Counseling services are available during normal business hours throughout the year (including breaks between semesters) except on University designated holidays. The Counseling Center is located next to Old Main Market.

Free Workshop

Helping Kats C.O.P.E. is a workshop series that helps students find ways to become more Centered, Optimistic, Productive, and Empowered. Workshops provide quick tips to help attendees learn how to address many concerns, such as low self-esteem, stress, and test anxiety.