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Can We Prevent Suicide?

December 11th, 2022

It is important for everyone to know these signs. We should not assume that an individual would never commit suicide. Ways to identify who may be contemplating suicide may include the following:

- Talking about being in unescapable, or unbearable pain
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Suddenly withdrawing socially
- Talking about how one feels like a burden
- Substance abuse
- Displaying anger, discussing revenge or other mood swings
- Dangerous or reckless behavior
- Suddenly sacrificing or giving away much of ones wealth.
- Talking about how one’s life has no purpose
- Suddenly taking action to obtain a weapon or plan to commit suicide
- Talking about wanting to commit suicide.
- Saying goodbye to friends or family

Risk factors for suicide include:

- Being male
- Having serious health conditions
- Exposure to another’s suicide
- High levels of stress. This could be from employment, bullying, harassment, or other life events
- Bottling up emotions or not sharing our struggles with others, not getting treatment for mental health issues.
- History of trauma
- Holding religious beliefs that do not discourage suicide, or encourage openness and emphasize our purpose.


1. Hunt T, Wilson CJ, Caputi P, Woodward A, Wilson I. Signs of current suicidality in men: A systematic review. PLoS One. 2017 Mar 29;12(3):e0174675. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174675. PMID: 28355268; PMCID: PMC537
2. McSwain S, Lester D, Gunn JF 3rd. Warning signs for suicide in Internet forums. Psychol Rep. 2012 Aug;111(1):186-8. doi: 10.2466/12.13.PR0.111.4.186-188. PMID: 23045860.
3. Kaplow JB, Gipson PY, Horwitz AG, Burch BN, King CA. Emotional suppression mediates the relation between adverse life events and adolescent suicide: implications for prevention. Prev Sci. 2014 Apr;15(2):177-185. doi: 10.1007/s11121-013-0367-9. PMID: 23412949; PMCID: PMC5036455.

By: Evan Redmond, Pharm.D.

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