Spotting Suicide Warning Signs
Did you know that most violent deaths in our schools are the result of suicide and not homicide? When we hear of school violence our first concern lies with the students that may be harmed by the student with the mental health issues, but the reality is that the student in question only harms themselves.
Spotting the warning signs of a student who may be suicidal isn’t only important for their safety but for the safety of the people around them as well. Most of the time a child or teen who is suicidal will only plot to harm themselves, but we can’t deny the possibility that their mental state may be such that they consider hurting others as well. In almost all of the cases of school violence resulting in death, the perpetrator has gone on to commit suicide immediately after committing the crime. It’s speculated that these students harm others in hopes that the police will kill them quickly so that they don’t have to do it themselves.
By learning the various suicide warning signs you may be able to help a child before it’s too late. This can lead to being able to save the child who is suicidal before they follow through with suicide and also possibly stop a child from inflicting harm on others or lashing out as a result of their turmoil and despair.
Suicide Warning Signs
- Depression or a constant/long-lasting state of sadness
- A loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Isolating themselves from friends and family
- Talking about death or mentioning having thoughts of death
- Mood swings
- Feeling helpless
- Reckless behavior with little regard for their safety
- Giving away their possessions
- Writing a will or discussing what they’d like done once they’re gone
- Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
If someone that you know is showing any of these warning signs then you need to do something to help them. You can begin by trying to talk to them unless you feel as if they may harm you or the situation is beyond your control. Tell someone what’s going on, such as a parent, teacher or crisis counselor. Try not to leave them alone if you feel that they are in immediate danger of harming themselves and keep them within view until someone arrives to help.
You need to remember that someone who shows one or two of these signs may not be suicidal but rather just having a bad day. You need to be alarmed if they’re exhibiting a few of the signs or have all out threatened suicide as any threat of this nature needs to be taken seriously.