Suicide is now the leading cause of injury deaths. In fact, more Americans commit suicide than die in car crashes. Since suicides are frequently unreported, the numbers are believed to be even higher than data indicates. According to a new report published in the American Journal of Public Health, suicide is now the first cause of injury deaths, followed by car crashes, poisoning, falls and murder.
The following list will help in identifying people who are at risk of committing suicide. If you or someone you know is hurting, reach out to a doctor, counselor, spiritual leader, relative or a special friend. Always err on the side of caution.
• has previously attempted suicide
• has a history of self-destructive behavior
• is talking or writing about suicide
• has a specific plan
• has access to a gun or other lethal means
• has harmed others
• is suffering from or has a history of depression or other mental illness
• has experienced a prior tragedy (e.g., suicide of family member)
• is involved with alcohol and/or other substances
• has harmed animals
• describes his/her situation as “hopeless”
• has sleep and/or eating disturbances
• is talking about “not being around...”, saying good-bye
• gives away possessions