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Bullying and Suicide – Know the Warning Signs

Being bullied is associated with an increased risk of experiencing anxiety and depression and a strongly increased association with suicidal thoughts and self harm behaviors.1,2

If your child is or may be a victim of bullying, you need to make it stop, but you also need to be aware of the increased suicide risk that goes hand in hand with bullying and be vigilant for the warning signs that can indicate an impending suicide attempt.

According to the American Psychological Association and The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, warning signs that may indicate suicidal thoughts include:

  • Talking about suicide, even in general terms, or seeming focused on thoughts of death and dying
  • Showing changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Giving away cherished belongings to friends and family
  • Showing a drastic change in habits and behaviors
  • No longer wanting to engage with friends and family
  • No longer seems to get pleasure from activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Making a will
  • Increases drinking or drug use
  • Starts engaging in risky behaviors
  • Stops caring about how she or she looks3
  • Acquiring a gun or other means to commit suicide
  • Visible signs of depression, such as a persistent sadness, pessimism and sense of hopelessness4

People who have made previous suicide attempts and people who have just experienced a major loss are also at increased risk.Most people who attempt suicide suffer from depression – which is a very treatable mental health disorder.

If you, or someone you love, is feeling suicidal call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a federal government service and they will connect you with a local suicide prevention team in your area.

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