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More than 700 000 people die by suicide every year. Furthermore, for each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts.

Suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that impacts on families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies.

Suicides are preventable. Much can be done to prevent suicide at individual, community and national levels. 

Anchor 1

Knowing the risk factors and recognizing the warning signs for suicide can help prevent suicide.

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)

  • A history of suicide in the family

  • Substance misuse

  • Mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder)

  • Access to lethal means (e.g., keeping firearms in the home)

  • Losses and other events (for example, the breakup of a relationship or a death, academic failures, legal difficulties, financial difficulties, bullying)

  • History of trauma or abuse

  • Chronic physical illness, including chronic pain

  • Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others

  • Often talking or writing about death, dying or suicide

  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless or worthless

  • Expressions of having no reason for living; no sense of purpose in life; saying things like "It would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out."

  • Increased alcohol and/or drug misuse

  • Withdrawal from friends, family and community

  • Reckless behavior or more risky activities, seemingly without thinking

  • Dramatic mood changes

  • Talking about feeling trapped or being a burden to others

Five tips from CDC for what you can do if you're concerned about a friend or loved one:

  • Ask "Are you thinking of killing yourself?" (While people may be hesitant to ask, research shows this is helpful.)

  • Keep them safe. Reduce access to lethal items or places.

  • Be there with them. Listen carefully and acknowledge their feelings.

  • Help them connect. Call or text the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

  • Stay connected. Follow up and stay in touch after a crisis.

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