- Abrupt changes in personality
- Giving away possessions
- Previous suicide attempts
- Breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend
- Inability to tolerate frustration
- Use of drugs and/or alcohol
- Change in eating patterns; significant weight changes
- Unwillingness or inability to communicate
- Sexual promiscuity
- Extreme or extended boredom
- Inability to concentrate
- Accident prone (carelessness), hostile or reckless behavior
- Unusually long grief reaction
- Unusual sadness, discouragement and loneliness
- Neglect of personal appearance, lack of self esteem
- Major loss (of loved one, home, through divorce, trauma, relationship)
- Running away from home or truancy from school, rebelliousness
- Withdrawal (from people, especially close friends, family or favorite activities)
- Restlessness, anxiety, stress
- Problems with school or the law
- Unexpected pregnancy
- A stressful family life
- Family history of suicide
How You Can Help a Suicidal Teenager
- Listen, don’t lecture.
- Do not leave the youth alone.
- Accept what is said and take it seriously.
- Ask directly if the youth is thinking of suicide.
- Determine if the youth has a plan.
- Try to focus on the problem.
- Help increase the perception of alternatives.
- Help the youth recall how they used to cope.
- Evaluate the resources available and help identify the resources needed to improve things.
- Do not be misled by comments that he/she is past the emotional crisis.
- Act respectfully.
- Do not avoid asking for assistance and consultation.
This material was adapted from the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program.