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Suicide Prevention – What To Look For?

At Mammoth Restoration, we’re often called in to “clean up” after suicides and the crime scenes that happen in our communities. Dealing with losses of this nature is always the hardest thing for us to do.  Seeing the friends and family members left behind by these tragedies first-hand, leaves us questioning if the situation was preventable in the first place.  With over 1 million suicides a year, it’s unfortunate that this epidemic is on the rise and we want to do our part to prevent this from happening in our community at all.   Suicide prevention begins with awareness; knowing what to look for, who to call and how to get help.  In honor of National Suicide Prevention Month (September), join us in taking the first step by sharing the following information with your family, friends and loved ones.




Suicide By the Numbers:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Logo• According to the World Health Organization, each year 1 million people die by suicide.
• The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that in 90% of all suicides, the person suffered from one or more disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, alcoholism, and bipolar disorder.
• Teens and older adults are most at risk for taking their own lives, with those 65 and older comprising the highest suicide rate.


Warning signs:
Most folks who talk about suicide are in the grips of a depression and pain so great that they may not be able to see any other way to stop the despair other than taking their own life. Help is available to those who are considering suicide as long as they, and the ones who care about them, heed the warning signs in time to get help. They include:

  • Talking about suicide.
  • Becoming preoccupied with death and/or violence.
  • Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and feeling “trapped.”
  • Seeking access to “lethal” items, such as guns, knives, and pills.
  • Withdrawing from friends and family and an increasing desire to be alone.
  • Displaying self-destructive behavior, such as increased drug or alcohol use or reckless driving or acting as if they have a “death wish.”
  • Possessing feelings of self-loathing, worthlessness, shame or guilt, that everyone would be better off without them.
  • Putting their affairs in order, such as making out a will, giving away their possessions, and saying goodbye to family and friends as if they will never see them again.
  • Displaying a sudden sense of calm and happiness after an extreme depression, which may mean that they have already decided to attempt suicide.
Suicide Prevention Warning Signs
Being aware of the warning signs may help you notice someone who needs help before it’s too late.

Common Risk Factors of Suicide:

  • Mental illness, alcoholism or drug abuse.
  • Previous attempts at suicide, a history of trauma or abuse, and/or a family history of suicide.
  • Terminal illness and chronic pain.
  • A recent loss or upsetting life event.
  • Social isolation and loneliness.
  • An adverse effect from depression medication.

Risk Factors of Suicide in Teens:

  • Childhood abuse.
  • Lack of support network.
  • Hostile home, social or school environment.
  • Recent traumatic event, including exposure to other teen suicides.
  • Availability of a gun.

Signs to look for in a teen who may be contemplating suicide:

  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits.
  • Withdrawal from friends and family and normal activities.
  • Violent behavior, including rebellion and running away.
  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse.
  • A neglect or change in personal appearance that is out of character.
  • Difficulty concentrating and a decline in the quality of schoolwork.
  • Rejection of rewards or praise.
  • Frequent complaints of physical distress, such as headaches or stomach aches.

Risk Factors of Suicide in the Elderly:

  • Illness, disability or debilitating pain.
  • Recent deal of a loved one.
  • Isolation and loneliness.
  • Major life changes, such as the loss of their independence.
  • Loss of a sense of purpose.

Signs to look for in the elderly who may be contemplating suicide:

  • Disruption of sleeping patterns.
  • Sudden interest in death and suicide.
  • Failure to take care of themselves, including doctor’s orders or personal grooming.
  • Stockpiling medication.
  • Increased alcohol or prescribed drug use.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline LogoFact-checking: Misnomers about Suicide

“Talking about suicide gives someone the idea.”

FACT: Actually, the opposite is true. Bringing up the subject and discussing it is one of the most helpful things you can do.

“People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.”

FACT: Don’t ignore direct or indirect references to suicide or death because almost everyone who attempts suicide has given some kind of hint. So statements such as “You will miss me when I am gone” or “I can’t deal with things anymore” may indicate suicidal feelings.

“If a person is determined to take their own life, nothing will stop them.”

FACT: Even despondent people have mixed feelings about death and may waver even up till the last minute between wanting to live or die. They are seeking to end the pain, not necessarily their life, and the impulse to die does not last forever.

“Anyone who dies by suicide are unwilling to seek help.”

FACT: In a study, it was found that most victims of suicide sought medical help within the last 6 months of their life.


If you or someone you know are considering suicide, help is available.


Prevention starts with awareness – Help us prevent suicides from happening in the first place!