True North


What is suicide?

  • Suicide is the act of taking one's own life

  • 90% of those who die by suicide had a mental illness

  • Contributing factors may include the death of a loved one, a failed relationship, a serious loss, terminal illness, abuse, or feelings of hopelessness

  • Firearms are the most commonly used method to commit suicide used by men and overdose is the most common method used by women

  • Women are more likely to attempt suicide than men, but men are more likely to complete a suicide attempt


Symptoms and warning signs:

  • Feeling hopeless, worthless, trapped

  • Being in unbearable pain

  • Sudden change in personality or behaviors, withdrawing or feeling isolated

  • Extreme mood swings

  • Change in eating and sleeping habits

  • Unusual neglect of personal appearance

  • Persistent boredom or difficulty concentrating

  • Feeling like a burden to others

  • Decline in the quality of work

  • Having no motivation or losing interest in activities once enjoyed

  • Acting anxious or agitated

  • Frequent complaints of physical symptoms (fatigue, headaches, or stomach aches)

  • Giving away possessions

  • Behaving recklessly

  • Increasing use of alcohol and drugs

  • Talking about death or not being here tomorrow, wanting to die or threats of killing oneself

  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge

  • Violent actions, rebellious behavior, or running away

  • Looking for ways to kill oneself such as searching online for weapons


How do I talk with someone who is suicidal?

  • If you suspect someone you know is suicidal, tell that person that you are worried and want to help

  • Use the word "suicide". Don't be afraid that you will put the idea in their mind

  • Ask whether they are considering taking their life, and ask if they have a specific plan

  • Having a plan indicates that they have suicidal intentions and need help right away

  • Your direct, non-judgmental questions can encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings

    • " I am glad you talked to me"

    • "I do care"

    • Tell me what's happening in your life"

    • "How can I help?"

    • "Let's find someone who can help you get through this"

  • If you find that someone is contemplating suicide, it is essential to help them find professional care

  • Most suicidal people not want to die

  • They want the pain to stop

  • The impulse to end it all - though- no matter how overpowering - does not last forever