If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, there is hope. Visit your nearest emergency department, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Baylor St. Luke’s Emergency Centers are always open and ready to help.
Risk Factors For Suicide
Certain attributes can give insight into those who are more likely to commit suicide. Recognizing these and seeking professional help to cope is important. Factors that increase the risk that an individual will consider or attempt suicide include:
- Mental disorders
- Alcohol or illegal substance abuse
- Serious physical illnesses
- History of trauma, abuse, or suicide attempts
- Loss of job, finances, or relationship
- Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
- Lack of social support
- Sense of isolation
- Lack of health care
- Belief that suicide is noble
- Exposure to others who have committed suicide
Mental conditions are common and treatable. Be aware of certain characteristics that suggest someone may need mental help. Warning signs that may indicate someone is suicidal include:
- Talking about wanting to die or commit suicide
- Feeling hopeless or trapped
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Mentioning unbearable pain or having no purpose
- Experiencing physical pain often associated with distress (stomach ache, headache, etc.)
- Increased drug or alcohol use
- Loss of interest
- Indifference about physical appearance
- Acting recklessly or anxious
- Change in eating or sleeping habits
- Being agitated or wanting to seek revenge
- Having extreme mood swings
- Increased isolation
What You Can Do
Threats of suicide are calls for help and must be taken seriously. If someone you know threatens to commit suicide, follow these steps immediately:
- Express concern and acknowledge his or her feelings.
- Offer support and listen.
- Do not leave the person alone.
- Contact family members, a mental health professional, or emergency medical services.
- Keep dangerous objects away from the person.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or feelings, know that help is available. Locate your nearest Baylor St. Luke’s Emergency Center.