Suicide is a major national public health issue in the US:

  • 44,965 people in the US die by suicide each year.[1]
  • A firearm is used in almost 50% of all suicides.[2]
  • 60% of the gun deaths in the US are from suicide[3].

As crime scene cleanup and suicide cleanup professionals, we see more tragedy than most people. We wanted to take a moment to provide some education around this important topic and provide some helpful resources for anyone considering suicide.

What Leads to Suicide?

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has published risk factors & warning signs about suicide. The warning signs may come in several different ways, including the way the person talks, the way they behave, and their mood. If someone talks about ending their life, about unbearable pain or about being a burden to others, you should consider that these are warning signs. Similarly, if someone is searching for ways to end their life online, or begins using drugs or alcohol in a harmful way, you should consider these high risk factors of suicide. Lastly, people who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of interest
  • Irritability
  • Humiliation/Shame
  • Agitation/Anger
  • Relief/Sudden Improvement

Suicide Risk Factors

Leading risk factors for suicide include health factors (such as depression & substance abuse), environmental factors (like losing a loved one or having access to lethal weapons) and historical factors (previous suicide attempts or a family history of suicide)[4].

Suicide Prevention Resources

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, it’s important to know there are resources available to help: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has someone available to talk at all times. You may call 1-800-273-8255. They also offer an online chat service and a Crisis Text Line that you may access by texting TALK to 741741. All of these services are free. Please reach out and seek help before ending your life.