Helping Someone With Suicidal Thoughts

Often, people are unaware of how common suicidal thoughts are. For this reason, you may find the following University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Suicide Statistics quite surprising:

  • 23% of students think about suicide to some degree.
  • 42.1% of students said they have felt so depressed that it was difficult to function at least once during the school year.
  • 11.3% said they had seriously considered attempting suicide at least once in the last school year.
  • 1.1% said they had attempted suicide at least once.

The signs below may not necessarily indicate suicidal potential, but the presence of several indicators, particularly if they indicate a change from the person’s usual mood and style of coping, deserves close attention.


Potential Warning Signs of Suicide:

  • Persistent sadness that seems severe, excessive, long-lasting, and significantly impairs daily functioning
  • Inability or unwillingness to communicate with others
  • Psychological changes such as irritability, anxiety, or withdrawal
  • Neglect of school work, personal grooming, or other routine tasks
  • Changes in physical health such as changes in sleep habits, appetite, weight, or energy level
  • Changes in social behavior such as inability to enjoy usual social activities, sudden and severe change in drug use, or sexual activity
  • Personal crises and major losses or rejections
  • Level of despair may be evident in papers, poetry, music, or artwork
  • Preoccupation with death or preparation for death