There are warning signs for every emergency that happens around us. Police cars and fire trucks have lights and sirens, a siren goes off for tornadoes and extreme weather, amber alerts are sent to our phones, etc. But what about the warning signs given to us by the people around us? You probably know a few already: changes in behavior, lower grades, and isolation. There are many warning signs that can alert us that someone is feeling suicidal. The list of warning signs from the American Psychiatric Association Foundation includes: physical complaints, sexual acting out, difficult sleeping, thoughts of death, poor appetite, abuse of alcohol/drugs, threats of self-harm or harm to others, self-destructive behavior, threats to run away, aggressiveness, opposition to authority, and unusual behaviors.
You may ask, "If there are so many warning signs, why do most suicides come by surprise?". Even with all of these warning signs, people still struggle with recognizing them. After someone commits suicide, we always hear: "I didn't know they were suffering." Reach out to those around you and let people know that they are cared for. Be aware of changes in those around you. Don't be a bystander to the suffering of those around you. You could very well save a life.
If you or someone you care about is feeling suicidal, please call (513)281-CARE (2273) or visit the Resources tab.