Warning Signs


What are the Warning Signs?

Did you know that suicide is the second leading cause of death for 10-19 year-olds in the United States? A far greater number of youths attempt suicide each year. These are shocking statistics, but we also know that most youths who die by suicide suffer from a mental or substance use disorder, or both. It is important to look for signs of substance
abuse or depression and get professional help for your child.

–CDC and Prevention

Warning Signs Demanding Immediate Attention:

  • Talking about or writing about suicide or death
  • Giving direct verbal ques, such as, “I wish I were dead” and “I’m going to end it all”
  • Isolating himself/herself from family and friends
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Expressing the belief that life is meaningless
  • Exhibiting a sudden or unexplained improvement in mood after being depressed and withdrawn
  • Neglecting his or her hygiene
  • Dropping out of school or social, athletic, and/or community activities

Additional Warning Signs:

  • Frequent tearfulness and/or crying
  • Decreased interest in activities or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
  • Hopelessness, helplessness
  • Persistent boredom or low energy
  • Social isolation
  • Increase or decrease in sleeping patterns
  • Increase or decrease in eating patterns
  • Low self-esteem/guilt
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Increased irritability, anger or hostility
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Obsessive risk-taking
  • Marked personality change
  • Absences in school and/or drop in school performance