How do I know if a youth is at risk for suicide?

The following signs and risk factors may be helpful to you in determining if a youth is at risk. Source: the Samaritans

Verbal Signs:

  • "I want to kill myself."
  • "I don't want to be here anymore."
  • "No one understands me."
  • "I can't take it anymore."
  • "Things will never get better."
  • "I'm tired of being a burden to my friends and family."
  • "No one would miss me if I were gone."

Physical Changes:

  • Significant change in appetite
  • Suddenly not caring about appearance or cleanliness
  • Unexplained cuts, scrapes or bruises
  • Appearing tired all the time or sleeping too much or too little

Acting Differently :

  • Changes in mood: more withdrawn, anxious or sad, or sudden mood lift after a down period
    Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Suddenly taking more risks: not taking prescribed medication, drunk driving, ignoring physical limitations, having unprotected sex, using more drugs or alcohol
  • Loss of concentration
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Losing interest in things that used to be enjoyed
  • Not planning for the future
  • Hurting oneself on purpose
  • Thinking and talking about death a lot
  • Unexplained good-byes or unusual personal expressions that have a sense of closure


  • Recently having lost a loved one, relationship or job
  • Having money problems
  • Having questions or worries about being gay, bisexual or transgender


Hurting yourself is NEVER the answer. There is help available…talk to someone now

For immediate help call

Riverside Emergency Services

Newton Wellesley Hospital

Samariteen Hotline
1-800-252-TEEN (8336)

Samaritan Helpline
1-877-870-HOPE (4673)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)