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Know the Warning Signs of Suicide

How do you remember the Warning Signs of Suicide?

Here’s an easy-to-remember mnemonic:

IS PATH WARM?

I  Ideation

S  Substance Abuse

 

P  Purposelessness

A  Anxiety

Trapped

Hopelessness

 

W  Withdrawal

 A  Anger

R  Recklessness

Mood Changes

 

A person in acute risk for suicidal behavior most often will show these Warning Signs

  • Threatening to hurt or kill him or herself, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill him/herself; and or,
  • Looking for ways to kill him/herself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means; and/or,
  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary.

These might be remembered as expressed or communicated ideation. If observed, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for a referral.

Expanded Warning Signs:

  • Increased substance (alcohol or drug) use
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all of the time
  • Feeling trapped – like there’s no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and society
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes

If observed, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for a referral.

How you can help a friend

  • DO LISTEN: Do take your friend seriously
  • DO SHOW SUPPORT: Do talk openly, ask questions, stay with the person and tell your friend you care
  • DO ACT: Do share the burden, tell someone else, get help immediately

What not to do

  • DO NOT IGNORE THE PROBLEM: Don’t avoid the issue, act shocked, joke, disbelieve or argue with the person
  • DO NOT KEEP THE SECRET: Don’t keep information about suicide a secret
  • DO NOT DELAY ACTION: Don’t leave the person alone or handle the problem alone

It’s OK to ask for help

Mahoning County and Trumbull County

330-747-2696

Columbiana County

330-424-7767

East Palestine, Beloit, Sebring and Western Columbiana County:

1-800-427-3606

Ashtabula Mental Health Hopeline

1-800-577-7849

 

Adapted from the American Association of Suicidology