Posted on : Wednesday April 28, 2010

•    Increased alcohol consumption
•    Emotional/cries easily
•    Withdrawn
•    Talks about suicide
•    Writes or rewrites will
•    Delusional
•    Lack of energy or motivation
•    Accident prone
•    Loss of love for profession
•    No longer concerned about physical appearance
•    Plays with guns
•    Hopelessness and helplessness

Risk factors

•    Depression
•    Marital problems or bad relationship
•    Loss due to death or divorce
•    Terminal illness
•    Indictment
•    Disability/retirement
•    Feeling responsible for death of loved one
•    Involved in shooting
•    Being arrested

*Robert Douglas said the more signs and risk factors the more danger.  (See article “Tackling the tough subject of suicide”)

Assessment questions:

Are you thinking about killing yourself? (Douglas said it’s important to use the word “killing”, not hurting. Many people may be thinking of cutting themselves, or something else, it is important to specify “killing.”

Have you thought about it or how you’re going to do it?

When do you plan to kill yourself?

Douglas said that it’s not uncommon for people to have fleeting suicidal thoughts. That’s why the second question is so important. If they say how they’ll take their life, maybe pills or hanging themselves, it’s important not to get “freaked out.” He said you must continue to the third question. If they give a time and/or date, Douglas said immediate medical attention must be sought, and that it is imperative not to leave the person alone.