When a person ends his or her own life, it can be devastating for family and friends. It leaves them with unanswered questions and unresolved guilt. Suicide is a common cause of death that touches people from all walks of life.

Causes and Risk Factors

Suicide is a complex and very personal issue. People end their own lives for many reasons. Often, it's not because of one single thing. Genetics may play a role. Suicide can stem from untreated depression or from some other mental disorder. It can be a way for a person to escape the chronic pain of an injury or illness. Suicide can be triggered by overwhelming emotional pain or abuse, including bullying. People can choose suicide after a serious loss, such as the loss of a loved one, a failed relationship, the loss of a job or a bankruptcy. And, it can be linked to drug or alcohol abuse. Suicide is more common among males. The risk is highest among men age 75 and older.


There are often warning signs before a suicide. The person may give hints in their words and actions. You may notice changes in their mood and outlook. They may even threaten to harm themselves. Do not ignore these signs. They are serious.


Suicide can be prevented with proper care. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, reach out for help. Call a help line. Contact a mental health professional or a help group. Take suicide warning signs seriously. By doing so, you can help save a life.