ENID, Okla. —
Warning signs that warrant an immediate action by friend, relative or caregiver are: a stated desire to die or threats to hurt or kill themselves; seeking access to means (firearms, pills, rope, sharp weapons); someone talking or writing about death, dying or suicide.
Anyone witnessing these behaviors should call 911 or a mental health provider. Also available are trained personnel at the national suicide prevention hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255)
Other risk factors are: hopelessness or a sense of being a burden to others; uncontrolled rage or anger; mood changes; reckless or risky behaviors without regard for safety; feeling trapped; increasing substance use; withdrawal from family or friends; recent transitions; previous suicide attempts; and family history of suicide.
Also important are protective factors: restricted access to lethal means including firearms, pills (including over-the-counter), sharp weapons and rope; cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide; access to effective mental health care; ability to effectively cope with stressors; and strong connections to family, friends, school and community.
Some information was taken from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, which has a wealth of information about suicide prevention, online at www.sprc.org.