Recognize the Warning Signs of Suicide

September 23, 2022

In the aftermath of suicide, many people often ask the same questions: “Why did this happen? What could we have done?” The truth is no easy answer exists for either. The decisions that drive someone to take their own life can vary from person to person. The reasons are almost always complicated and difficult to understand for those left behind.

While suicidal tendencies can come in many forms, they also share some similar characteristics. To prevent suicide, understand what these characteristics are and look for these behaviors from your loved ones.

Statistics on suicide

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States with 45,979 deaths in 2020 — roughly one death every 11 minutes. Furthermore, the CDC reports an estimated 12.2 million Americans seriously thought about suicide in 2020 while 3.2 million people planned a suicide and 1.2 million attempted suicides. Perhaps what’s more troubling is the prevalence of suicide in youth. The CDC reports suicide as the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34.

Warning signs

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with suicidal thoughts may show any of the following warning signs:

How to help

If you suspect someone you love may be thinking of suicide, the NIMH recommends taking the following actions:

You don’t have to face a crisis alone — we’re here for you. Schedule an appointment with Cathy Rigg, LCSW and the Therapy and Counseling Services at the Elmer Hugh Taylor Clinic. Call 217-323-2245 today.