Warning Signs of Self-Harm
If you know someone who shows some of the warning signs of suicide, let them know that you care and are concerned and available to listen and talk. But understand your limits and don’t hesitate to point them to professional help.
The Counseling Center can provide the necessary services. A counselor is always available or on call, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week you can see someone immediately if you’re having a crisis or emergency. Call 765-285-1736 during the daytime or 765-747-7330 after hours and on weekends.
If you think the person is in immediate danger, call 911 or University Police at 765-285-1111 and stay with him or her until help arrives.
Watch for these early warning signs:
- Sudden behavior changes such as becoming withdrawn, moody or irritable.
- Being sad or depressed, crying.
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits.
- Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Sudden changes in appearance, especially neglect of appearance.
- Restlessness and agitation.
- Overreacting to criticism or being overly self-critical.
- Being unable to recover from a loss; ongoing and overwhelming feelings of grief.
Late warning signs include:
- Dropping out of activities and becoming more isolated and withdrawn.
- Experiencing radical personality or behavioral changes, including increasingly dangerous risk-taking behavior or sudden improvement in behavior.
- Making final arrangements and giving things away.
- Threatening to commit suicide and openly talking about death, not being wanted or needed or not being around.
Don’t be afraid to ask someone if he or she is having suicidal thoughts because you are not putting these thoughts in his or her head. Asking gives you the opportunity to talk with the person about getting help. If you can, check if the person has a means to carry out the plan. If possible, remove it. But always seek help for yourself if you are not sure how to handle the situation.