Most people don’t know the warning signs of someone who is depressed or contemplating suicide. Look out for a change in:
• The use of alcohol or drugs
• The time spent with others
Also, notice if the person is exhibiting different behaviors than normal, such as:
• Hyperactivity or excitement
• Lacking emotion
• Isolation or keeping to themselves
• Mood swings
Depression and suicidal thoughts and actions can be triggered by:
• Stress (Academic or personal)
• Ending a relationship (friends, family, or boyfriend/girlfriend)
If someone you know is showing signs of depression or suicide, be sure to talk to him or her. Asking them directly if he or she is depressed is difficult. Instead, ask if they have gone through a recent traumatic experience and remind them you are here for them.
Here are some more tips on how to help someone deal with depression:
• Talk to someone that you trust
• Make plans with your friends
• Try not to be alone
• Meet new people
• Join a club or organization
If the person believes he/she is depressed or suicidal, encourage them to go see a counselor. Remind them that counseling is confidential and is a safe place to open up. Also, tell them that admitting a problem is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
If you are ever in a state of crisis, call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.