Suicide Warning Signs

A child who is thinking about suicide may send subtle warning signs. Here's a list of what to look for.

  • Giving away personal treasures.

  • Strange mood swings.

  • Emotional withdrawal.

  • Making significant closure in relationships

  • Talking or writing about suicide.

  • An avid interest in reading about suicide or listening to dark, depressing music.

  • An increase in risky behavior, in relative terms (compare the kid's riskiness to her own previous behavior; what's normal for one kid may be unusually risky for another).

  • A change in eating or sleeping habits.

  • A decrease in personal hygiene (relative to kid's previous norm).

  • Cutting (not necessarily a suicide attempt).

Reprinted with permission from The Samaritans of Boston.

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