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Danger Signals for Severely Depressed or Potentially Suicidal Behavior

Look for the following changes in a person’s behavior. You may not have some of this information (for instance how the person is sleeping unless he is always looking tired) unless the employee volunteers it. You may have to use your discretion and seek consultation with an experienced mental health professional at EAP.

Significant changes in the person’s overt behavior patterns:

  • Sleeping
  • Eating (weight gain or loss)
  • Ability to pay attention
  • Use of drugs/alcohol
  • Time spent with others
  • Irritability
  • Hyperactive, excited
  • Withdrawn, lethargic, or sad
  • Mood swings

Diminished social relationships:

  • Lack of close, supportive friends and co-workers
  • Spends little time with others
  • Non-supportive family ties
  • Rarely participates in group activities
  • Recent traumatic or stressful events in the person’s life:
  • Death of a loved one
  • Changes in close relationships (e.g., break up of a romantic relationship)
  • Changes in family relationships
  • Change in work performance or job classification
  • Serious illness (e.g., cancer)

Suicide risks:

  • Hinting at suicide or talking about feeling hopeless
  • Having had a close friend or family member commit suicide
  • Previous suicide attempt
  • Engaging in physically dangerous activities (e.g., high speed driving).

by sebenl99 — last modified Jan 29, 2013 08:03 AM