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Risk Factors

Be Aware of the Risk Factors of Suicide

Risk Factors

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Feeling like a burden to friends or family
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Death by suicide of a family member or of a close friend or colleague
  • Job or financial loss
  • Loss of relationship(s) such as a break-up with a boyfriend/girlfriend or a divorce with a spouse
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of suicide
  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with asking for help
  • Lack of access to healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Cultural such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
  • Religious beliefs that struggling with mental health issues and thoughts of suicide are a reflection of a lack of faith or a punishment from God
  • Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2017). Risk factors and warning signs of suicide. Accessed August 7, 2007 from:

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