Who is at risk?

When it comes to depression and suicide, anyone can be at risk. The power of the mind should not be underestimated. Seek help when you first become aware of changes in your thoughts or behavior or help someone if they show any of the warning signs. Depression doesn’t have a face or outfit. It can happen to anyone.

Anyone can be affected by mental illness or have suicidal thoughts, irrespective of age, race, ethnicity and socio-economic status.

If you or someone you know has had a history of suicidal behaviors or attempts, this may increase the risk of future suicidal thoughts or attempts. Studies have shown that women are at a higher risk of attempting suicide, yet, men have a higher rate of death by suicide. Suicide is usually associated with one or more treatable mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, drug or alcohol dependence and schizophrenia.

Other common risk factors include:

  • Death by suicide of a family member or loved one
  • Being over 65
  • Terminal illness
  • Chronic pain
  • Recent loss or stressful life event
  • Social isolation
  • Loneliness
Protective Factors

Mental disorders are treatable. Suicide is preventable.

What precautions and protective factors can individuals with mental health disorders take?

  • Identify and become aware of an underlying or prevalent mental health disorder (sadness, depression, loss of interest in activities, mood swings or alcohol / drug dependency)
  • Reach out to family and friends for support
  • Receive effective clinical care, through a mental health professional
  • Tap into community or network for support (group gatherings or social media)
  • Become aware of escalation of feelings or emotions and take proactive measures to change your setting and stay away from dangerous activities
  • Explore religious, cultural or spiritual means that can help you cope
  • Try to meditate or engage in activities that bring your peace