Nacional de Prevencion del Suicidio 1-888-628-9454
Suicide Prevention Hotline for Deaf & Hard of Hearing 1-800-799-4889

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How to identify and get help for those at risk

Suicide deaths are increasing in Kentucky. Research shows that stress, substance abuse, depression and other mental health factors are creating a statewide crisis in our Commonwealth. Knowing the warning signs and how to get help for yourself, a friend, or family member can save a life.

Data from America’s Health Rankings, United Health Foundation, shows that males are more likely than females to die by suicide. White males between the ages of 45-64 have the highest suicide death rate in Kentucky– with the most often means being firearms– but it’s by no means limited to this group. America’s Health Rankings currently ranks Kentucky the 19th highest suicide rate in the nation.

There are often warning signs and risk factor present before suicide. Being aware of these indicators can make a life-saving difference.


What are the warning signs?

• Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves • Acting anxious or agitated. Behaving recklessly
• Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun • Sleeping too little or too much
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
• Talking about being a burden to others • Exhibiting extreme mood swings
• Increasing use of alcohol or drugs


What are the risk factors?

• Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
• Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies  • Hopelessness
• History of trauma or abuse • Major physical illnesses
• Previous suicide attempt • Family history of suicide
• Financial or job loss • Loss of relationship(s)
• Easy access to lethal means  • Local clusters of suicide
• Lack of social support and sense of isolation • Stigma associated with asking for help
• Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment • Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
 Exposure to to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media or Internet)


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