Warning signs may appear to indicate that suicide is a possible choice.
Some verbal signs are direct; others are vague or coded.
- "I'm going to kill myself."
- "What would you think of someone who committed suicide?"
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Problems concentrating
- Noticeable loss or gain of weight
- Neglect of personal appearance
- Abrupt change in personality and behavior (unusual withdrawal, aggression or moodiness)
- Increase in alcohol and/or drug use
- Rebellion and hostility
- Withdrawing from friends and activities
- Appearing sad most of the time
- Sudden drop in school performance
- Previous suicide attempts
- Giving away special possessions
- Vague complaints about health
- Unusual calmness after a loss or period of depression
- Suicidal notes, poems, journal or diary entries
- Loss of a parent, close relative, friend, other significant person or pet
- Loss of self-esteem
- Loss of a job
- Loss of physical health
- Loss of achievement
- Rejection by peers, family, authority figures or other significant persons
How You Can Help:
When you notice one of more of these warning signs, you can help by using the following techniques:
- Develop a relationship with the student or strengthen your present relationship by being available to listen and talk.
- Trust your suspicions. The student may be seriously considering suicide.
- Don't leave the student alone!
- Encourage the student to seek professional guidance. If the student refuses help, contact someone immediately. Maintain contact with the student until help is secured.
- Ask directly about suicide. You will not be "putting thoughts into the person's head." Don't act shocked or scared:
- Are you thinking about hurting yourself or committing suicide?
- When would you do it?
- What would you do?
- What method(s) would you use?
- How available is this method to you?
- Who can you turn to for help?
- When are your family members home?
You can help prevent suicide
Before it's too late
Where you can get help for yourself or others:
If you or someone you know is feeling depressed or having thoughts of suicide, DON'T keep it to yourself. There are people who can help.
University Counseling Services:
(661) 654-3366 during the day, for students only. (evenings & weekends, contact Kern Co. Mental Health)
Student Health Services:
Kern County Mental Health - Crisis Intervention
Or tell someone you know and can trust:
- Walk into the Counseling Center (located in the Health Center)
- A faculty member who will listen and get help
- A resident assistant or residence hall advisor
- A clergy person
- A family member or friend
If you are in doubt about where to turn for assistance, please feel free to call the
Counseling Center at 661-654-3366.
This information was prepared by the Counseling Services of Seton Hall University to assist students
with mental health issues. Information contained herein was gleaned from on-line publications.