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Suicide Warning Signs

In order to prevent suicide, it is important to be aware of the warning signs of suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It's not just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide - it's a cry for help.

Suicide Warning Signs from
Talking about suicideAny talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm. Includes statements such as "I wish I hadn't been born," "If I see you again...," "I want out" and "I'd be better off dead."
Seeking out lethal meansLooking for ways to commit suicide. Seeking access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
Preoccupation with deathUnusual focus on death, dying or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.
No hope for the futureFeelings of helplessness, hopelessness and being trapped ("There's no way out"). Belief that things will never get better or change.
Self-loathing, self-hatredFeelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden ("Everyone would be better off without me").
Getting affairs in orderMaking out a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family members.
Saying goodbyeUnusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again.
Withdrawing from othersWithdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.
Self-destructive behaviorIncreased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving or unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks as if they have a "death wish."
Sudden sense of calmA sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to commit suicide.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (TTY 800-799-4TTY). This number can be dialed from anywhere in the United States 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-800-755-7002. The EAP provides all CBP employees and their eligible family members with up to 12 free face-to-face counseling sessions with a licensed counselor. All services provided by the EAP are free of charge and completely confidential.

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Last modified: 
October 29, 2020