A person may be suicidal if he or she:
• Talks about committing suicide.
• Has trouble eating or sleeping.
• Experiences drastic changes in behavior.
• Withdraws from friends or social activities.
• Loses interest in hobbies, friends, school, work, etc.
• Prepares for death by making a will or final arrangements.
• Gives away prized possessions.
• Has attempted suicide before.
• Takes unnecessary risks.
• Has had a recent severe loss.
• Is preoccupied with death or dying.
• Loses interest in their personal appearance.
• Increases their use of alcohol and/or drugs.
How to help someone who is threatening suicide
• Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
• Be willing to listen. Allow the person to express feelings.
• Be nonjudgmental. Do not debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or if the person’s feelings are good or bad. Do not lecture the person about the value of life.
• Do not encourage or dare the person to “do it.”
• Get involved, become available and show interest and support.
• Do not act shocked when listening to the person’s issues.
• Do not be sworn to secrecy; seek support and assistance.
• Offer hope that alternatives are available and help is available.
• Take action: remove means such as guns, or stockpiled pills, etc.
• Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
Source: McHenry County Crisis Program