by Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D.
Chairman, National Center for Emotional Wellness
CEO & Creator, TruthJava.com
Suicide is now the leading cause of injury death in America. The following warning signs may suggest that someone is contemplating suicide. If you have concerns, speak immediately with a member of the person's family, a healthcare provider, an educator, or a clergy member. Always err on the side of caution:
• has previously attempted suicide • has a history of self-destructive behavior • is talking or writing about suicide • has a specific plan • has access to a gun or other lethal means • has harmed others • is suffering from depression or other mental illness • has experienced a prior tragedy (e.g., suicide of family member) • is involved with alcohol and/or other substance • has harmed animals • describes his situation as “hopeless” • has sleep and/or eating disturbances • is talking about “not being around...”, saying good-bye • is grappling with sexual/identity issues • gives away possessions
• will not "contract for safety." (i.e., promise to not harm oneself) • demonstrates a marked change in mood or behavior