More than 700 000 people die by suicide every year. Furthermore, for each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts.

Suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that impacts on families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies.

Suicides are preventable. Much can be done to prevent suicide at individual, community and national levels. 


Knowing the risk factors and recognizing the warning signs for suicide can help prevent suicide.

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)

  • A history of suicide in the family

  • Substance misuse

  • Mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder)

  • Access to lethal means (e.g., keeping firearms in the home)

  • Losses and other events (for example, the breakup of a relationship or a death, academic failures, legal difficulties, financial difficulties, bullying)

  • History of trauma or abuse

  • Chronic physical illness, including chronic pain

  • Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others

  • Often talking or writing about death, dying or suicide

  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless or worthless

  • Expressions of having no reason for living; no sense of purpose in life; saying things like "It would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out."

  • Increased alcohol and/or drug misuse

  • Withdrawal from friends, family and community

  • Reckless behavior or more risky activities, seemingly without thinking

  • Dramatic mood changes

  • Talking about feeling trapped or being a burden to others

Five tips from CDC for what you can do if you're concerned about a friend or loved one:

  • Ask "Are you thinking of killing yourself?" (While people may be hesitant to ask, research shows this is helpful.)

  • Keep them safe. Reduce access to lethal items or places.

  • Be there with them. Listen carefully and acknowledge their feelings.

  • Help them connect. Call or text the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

  • Stay connected. Follow up and stay in touch after a crisis.


If you or someone you know needs support now, reach out to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline -- call or text 988, or chat 988lifeline.org