Opinion: Be aware of suicide warning signs


Carly Beleau, Photo Editor

Three years ago today one of my friends committed suicide. Her death changed the foundation of who I am. Even though we weren’t close at the time of her death, a part of me died with her.

I couldn’t sleep for months. All my days seemed darker, like a light was stolen. I fell into a depression because of the overwhelming feelings of guilt and heartbreak. The only difference between my friend and I is the fact that I asked for help. The pain her death caused me to put into perspective how many people truly care about me. I felt alone, but I knew that I wasn’t.

Most people who are suicidal feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness, because of this they lose sight of just how many people they would truly effect. When someone takes their own life it effects pretty much every single person they’ve ever met, and not in a positive way. This in no way makes the suicidal person selfish, but it does mean that they’re not alone.

There are many ways to tell when someone is becoming suicidal:

  • Unusual changes in behavior
  • Withdrawing from friends and social activities
  • Losing interest in personal hygiene
  • Being bored by school, work, or hobbies
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Feelings as if they’re a burden
  • Suffering a current loss, crisis, or problem
  • Subtle signs of depression
  • Joking about suicide or depression
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Self-harm
  • Expressing extreme loneliness or isolation
  • Making preparations for death (ex:telling everyone they love them randomly)

There are also many ways to reach out to someone you think is suicidal:

  • Reminding them they are loved
  • Saying you miss them
  • Acknowledging what they are going through
  • Letting them talk about it
  • Giving them things to look forward to, no matter how small
  • Showing gratitude that they are in your life
  • Acknowledge their strength
  • Tell them they are more than enough, even on bad days
  • Thank them for still being here
  • Assure them that you will ALWAYS be there for them
  • Encourage them to get help from an adult or trained professional
  • If you know they are planning it, TELL AN ADULT YOURSELF. You can always reach out to a counselor on campus.

There are many more signs and ways to help, but suicidal people need hope more than anything. Give them hope.