Risk Factors

Risk factors are stressful events, situations or conditions that may increase the likelihood of suicide. Risk factors neither predict nor cause suicide, however, they can affect a person’s ability to cope or to see alternative solutions to their problems. How might the following situations affect a person’s ability to cope?

Risk Factors for Suicide:

  • Mental disorders (mood, anxiety, posttraumatic stress and certain personality disorders)
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • One or more prior suicide attempts
  • Easy access to a firearm, pills, other lethal means
  • The suicide of a peer or a suicide cluster in the community
  • Family history of suicide
  • Loss of a loved one or the end of a significant relationship
  • History of trauma or abuse
urgent

warning signs

Warning signs are the earliest observable clues that a person may be considering suicide in the near-term (within minutes, hours or days).

Cause for Immediate Concern:

  • Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die
  • Seeking access to lethal means–guns, medications, poisons
  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
If it’s you…

If you find yourself acting or feeling in one or more of these ways, get help immediately. Dial 2-1-1 in Vermont, a mental health professional , Call 9-1-1 for police or emergency services or Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach a real person who can help, even if you only want to talk.

Or someone else…

urgentIf someone you know is behaving in any of these ways, get help right away. Stay with the person until professional help is available. Keep the person away from firearms, medications, alcohol and other substances which they might use to kill themselves or which might lower their resistance to causing themselves harm. Dial 2-1-1 in Vermont to reach a mental health professional, Call 9-1-1 for police or emergency services or Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach a real person who can help. Never leave a suicidal person alone.