Suicidal Signs

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The Trevor Helpline 866 488-7386

Often times, a suicidal person may indicate in some way that they plan to attempt suicide. Here are some warning signs you should know about. (NOTE: Refrain from using the phrase "commit(ed) suicide." Instead, use "completed suicide" or "died by suicide" when describing a fatal suicide attempt).

Warning Signs:

  • A tendency toward isolation and social withdrawal
  • Substance abuse
  • Expression of negative attitude toward self
  • Expression of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Giving away valued possessions
  • Expression of a lack of future orientation (i.e. "It won't matter soon anyway").
  • A person who has been extremely depressed in the past may e at an increased risk for suicide if the depression begins to cease, as they may now have the psychological energy to follow through on a suicidal ideation.

If you or someone you care about displays any of these warning signs, please do not hesitate to call The Trevor Lifeline at: 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) to speak with a trained volunteer counselor.

Some Facts About Suicide:

  • In the United States, more than 32,000 people die by suicide each year (Centers for Disease Control 2005)
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds, accounting for over 12% of deaths in this age group. Only accidents and homicides occur more frequently (National Adolescent Health Information 2006).
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses (CDC 2008)
  • For every completed suicide by a young person, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made (Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey 2003)
  • Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Massachusetts Youth Risk Survey 2007)
  • More than 1/3 of LGB youth report having made a suicide attempt (D'Augelli AR - Clinical Child Psychiatry and Psychology 2002)
  • Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt (Grossman AH, D'Augelli AR - Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior 2007)
  • Questioning youth who are less certain of their sexual orientation report even higher levels of substance abuse and depressed thoughts than their heterosexual or openly LGBT-identified peers (Poteat VP, Aragorn SR, et al - Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2009).
  • Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth who come from a rejecting family are nearly nine time more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers (Ryan C - Family Acceptance Project 2009)

Additional Facts about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth

  • Nine out of 10 LGBT students (86.2%) experience harassment at school; three-fifths (60.8%) felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation; and about one-third (32.7%) skipped a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe (GLSEN National Climate Survey 2007)
  • Almost all transgender students had been verbally harassed (e.g. called names or threatened in the past year at school because of their sexual orientation (89%) and gender expression (89%) (GLSEN: Harsh Realities, The Experiences of Transgender Youth in our Nation's Schools 2009)
  • LGBT youth in rural communities and those with lower adult educational attainment face particularly hostile school climates (JG, Greytak EA, Diaz EM - Journal of Youth & Adolescence 2009)
  • Lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents are 190 percent more likely to use drugs and alcohol than are heterosexual teens (Marshal MP, Friedmand MS, et all - Addiction 2008)
  • It is estimated that between 20 and 40 percent of all homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (National Gay & Lesbian Task Force: An Epidemic of Homelessness 2006)  63% of homeless LGB youth will attempt suicide at least one--more than two times as many as their heterosexual peers (Van Leeuwen JMm et al - Child Welfare 2005)