Skip to main content

About Suicide

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Logo with Ribbon

What is suicide?

  • Suicide ideation - Thoughts of engaging in suicide-related behavior.
  • Suicide attempt - A nonfatal self-directed potentially injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior. A suicide attempt may or may not result in injury.
  • Suicide - Death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Surgeon General and National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action. Washington, DC: HHS, September 2012.

How many deaths have resulted from suicide in Florida?

How can I help prevent suicide?

  • There are many ways you can help prevent suicide. First, learn the warning signs. Second connect the person displaying signs of suicide with crisis support. You can find various crisis support hotlines in the crisis support section of this website.

If you or someone you know needs support, please call 1-800-273-8255

What are the warning signs of suicide?

Warning signs are like red flags that may indicate that a person may be more at risk for suicide. The following list is a partial list from the American Association of Suicidology’s website.

  • Increased substance (alcohol or drug) use
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all of the time
  • Feeling trapped - like there's no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and society
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes


How do I know if someone is at risk for suicide?

Risks are characteristics linked with suicide and might not be the cause of it.

Risk Factors

Here is a partial list of some examples of risk factors for suicide. Risks are characteristics linked with suicide.

  • Family history of suicide
  • Family history of child maltreatment
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression
  • History of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
  • Physical illness
  • Easy access to lethal methods

If you or someone you know might be at risk, please call 1-800-273-8255

Protective Factors

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are some protective factors for suicide. This is a partial list.

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
  • Family and community support (connectedness)
  • Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes