It is not a daily occurrence to respond on calls of this nature, but we do deal with persons who may be depressed or have contemplated suicide often enough to offer prevention information on suicide. Below are some warning signs and risk factors associated with suicide, offered by the Didi Hirsch Mental Health Center here in Los Angeles County:
Warning Signs and Risk Factors
– Developing a specific plan for suicide (the number one predictor of suicide risk)
– Threatening suicide, expressing suicidal feelings directly or bringing up the topic of suicide
– Signs of depression: loss of pleasure, sad mood, alterations in sleeping or eating patterns, feelings of hopelessness, irritability, agitation, feelings of failure or shame
– Giving away prized possessions, settling affairs, making out a will
– Changes in behavior (poor work or school performance)
– Risky behaviors
– Increased use of alcohol or drugs
– Social isolation
– Having attempted suicide in the past
– Having lost a loved one to suicide
– A recent loss or threat of loss, for example: the death of a loved one or an idol/role model; divorce, separation, or a broken relationship; the loss of a job, a house, a business, money, or social status; loss of health to serious, progressive, or painful illness; diminished self-esteem or self-confidence
– Losing all hope in the future (“Things will never get better”; “Life feels like an open sore that’s never going to heal”)
Here is a list of suicide hotlines for California, posted by Suicide.org. Scroll down the page for several numbers in Los Angeles County. Don’t ignore warning signs! If you or someone you know needs help, call a hotline immediately. If it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1.
This post was originally published on August 5, 2015 on the Arcadia Police Department’s blog.