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Suicide Ideation - Warning Signs

Updated: Apr 17

As we navigate the complexities of mental health, it is important that we shed light on the challenging issue of suicide and suicidal thoughts. At Riverwoods Behavioral Health, we are committed to providing support, understanding, and resources to our community, especially when it comes to discussing this sensitive topic.



Suicide is a deeply impactful event that reverberates through families, communities, and beyond. It is crucial to recognize that suicidal thoughts and behaviors are often a sign of extreme distress, and those who experience them need understanding, empathy, and support. By raising awareness and promoting open dialogue about suicide, we can help reduce stigma and provide avenues for support and intervention.


While everyone’s experience is unique, there are some common warning signs that may indicate someone is struggling with suicidal thoughts. These include:


  1. Talking about feeling hopeless, trapped, or like a burden to others.

  2. Expressing a desire to die or specific plans for suicide.

  3. Withdrawing from social activities and isolating from friends and family.

  4. Engaging in reckless or risky behaviors, such as substance abuse or self harm.

  5. Giving away prized possessions or making final arrangements.

  6. Sudden changes in mood, behavior or personality.


If you’re concerned about someone who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, here are some tips on how to offer support:


  1. Listen non-judgmentally and validate their feelings. Let them know you care and are there to help.

  2. Encourage them to seek help from trusted mental health professionals.

  3. Remove any access to lethal means, such as firearms, medications, or other harmful substances.

  4. Stay connected and check-in regularly. Let them know that they’re not alone.

  5. Encourage healthy coping strategies such as exercise, mindfulness and engaging in activities they enjoy.

  6. Don’t promise to keep their thoughts of suicide a secret. It is essential to involve other trusted individuals, such as trusted family members or mental health professionals, in ensuring their safety.


Together, we can create a supportive and understanding community where mental health is prioritized, and individuals feel safe seeking help when they need it most. 


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