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National Suicide Prevention Week: Warning Signs & Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Week: Warning Signs & Prevention

Contributing Author: Skyler Sharp, FNP-C, Shenandoah Memorial Hospital Family Medicine – Mt. Jackson

Suicide is a serious public health concern and is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It affects all ages. People who attempt suicide and survive may experience serious injuries, such as broken bones or organ failure. These injuries can lead to long-term health problems. We want you to know that there is help always available.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of mental health conditions, particularly depression
  • History of alcohol or substance abuse
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Bullying
  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
  • Unwillingness to seek help

Warning Signs:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

The best way to prevent suicide is by seeking help. Many people find that their periods of suicidal feelings are temporary; getting through the immediate crisis can prevent suicide attempts. It is important to know that people who have struggled with thoughts of suicide and even those who have attempted suicide can and do recover. With proper support these people can go on and live full and healthy lives.

Valley Health has a multi-disciplinary team of health care professionals that can address and care for patients who have suicidal risk factors or warning signs. View local Behavioral Health Resources by clicking here.

If you or someone you know is in a crisis, please contact

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Skyler Sharp, FNP-C

Shenandoah Memorial Hospital Family Medicine – Mt. Jackson

Now Accepting New Patients

5173 Main Street, VA 22842

Phone: (540) 459-1350

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Preventing Suicide. Retrieved from