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Suicide Warning Signs

Warning signs are those behaviors or statements that indicate that an individual is at imminent risk for suicide or suicidal behaviors.

More often than not, those individuals who are contemplating suicide will give some warning of their intentions to a friend or family member. Hence, all suicide threats, gestures, and attempts must be taken seriously.

If you witness, hear, or see anyone exhibiting any of the following, get help IMMEDIATELY.

Call Counseling and Psychological Services at 610.902.8561 (9:00AM–4:00PM), Public Safety at 610.902.8245, or 1.800.273.8255 (TALK), the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Warning Signs of Suicide:

  • Sudden changes in behavior or dramatic mood changes
  • Prolonged depression or hopelessness
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep, or sleeping all the time
  • Expressing no reason for living or no sense of purpose in life
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Statements revealing a desire to die - talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
  • Suicide threats, threatening to hurt or kill him/herself, or talking about wanting to hurt or kill him/herself
  • Making final arrangements or giving away prized possessions
  • Previous suicide attempts, looking for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means

To Save a Life:

  • Realize someone might be suicidal.
  • Reach out. Asking the suicide question does not increase risk.
  • Listen. Talking things out can save a life.
  • Don’t try to do everything yourself. Get others involved.
  • Don’t promise secrecy and don’t worry about being disloyal.
  • If persuading them to get help fails, call Counseling (610.902.8561), Public Safety (610.902.8245), or your RA or Area Coordinator.

During a Crisis:

  • Take the individual to an emergency room or Call 911.
  • Do not leave the person until with professional help.
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs, or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.

Campus Resources:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services, 610.902.8561
  • Health Services, 610.902.8400
  • Resident hall director, dean, academic advisor, tutor, or faculty members
  • Campus religious or spiritual leader
  • Local crisis center or hotline – www.ulifeline.org