Warning Signs of Suicide

by Pam Dotson, Senior Project Manager
Community Care Behavioral Health Organization

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the U.S. had one death by suicide every 11 minutes in 2020. That equates to 45,979 people, of which 1,694 were Pennsylvanians. Suicide is a significant public health concern locally and nationally and is emotionally devastating for all those impacted by it. The causes of suicide are complex and determined by multiple factors. 

Community Care Behavioral Health Organization (Community Care) is dedicated to the safety and well-being of our members. We believe all suicides are preventable. That’s why we work with behavioral health providers, stakeholders and community partners, members, families and friends, primary care practices, and educators to decrease suicide rates through evidence-based prevention programs.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, help is available.  The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 is available 24/7, is free, and provides confidential support and crisis resources for people in distress.
In a life-threatening situation, call 911 immediately.

Everyone can serve a role in suicide prevention. Knowing the warning signs is an important first step. Below is a list of common warning signs:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to commit suicide
  • Looking for a way to commit suicide
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated, behaving recklessly
  • Experiencing extreme mood swings
  • Withdrawing or isolating
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain

Simply asking someone if they are considering suicide may help that person seek professional help or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Community Care has put together suicide prevention resources that raise awareness of risk factors, support, and care options. This information can be found on the Community Care member website under Health Topics at members.ccbh.com/health-topics. Resources include suicide prevention care options, crisis hotlines, general suicide prevention information, and suicide prevention resources for specific populations.

For help in locating a behavioral health provider, please visit Community Care (ccbh.com). Additional resources and information can also be found at SAMHSA.gov and Suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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