Information for Parents & Youth

Signs that someone may be at risk for suicide
The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased, and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you, or someone you know, exhibits any of these signs, seek help as soon as possible.

  • Calling 2nd Floor youth support line: 1-888-222-2228 (for youth)
  • Calling Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 911 or UBHC Crisis Hotline 732-235-5700
  • Risk Factors
  • Warning Signs
  • What You Can Do
  • Additional Resources
  • Mental illness including depression, conduct disorders, and substance abuse.
  • Family stress/dysfunction.
  • Environmental risks, including presence of a firearm in the home.
  • Situational crises (i.e., traumatic death of a loved one, physical or sexual abuse, family violence, etc.).


  • Suicidal threats in the form of direct and indirect statements.
  • Suicide notes and plans.
  • Prior suicidal behavior.
  • Making final arrangements (e.g., making funeral arrangements, writing a will, giving away prized possessions).
  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Changes in behavior, appearance, thoughts and/or feelings.
  • Talking about feelings of hopelessness or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or a burden to others.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.


  • Remain calm
  • Ask the youth directly if he or she is thinking about suicide.
  • Focus on your concern for their wellbeing and avoid being accusatory.
  • Listen.
  • Reassure them that there is help and they will not feel like this forever.
  • Do not judge.
  • Provide constant supervision. Do not leave the youth alone.
  • Remove means for self-harm.
  • Get help



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