We’ve lost our beloved actor Robin Williams to a terrible suicide this week. Robin leaves behind not only a preventionlegacy in acting, but also serves as a symbol of the tragic effects of mental health issues and the suffering that is associated with addiction.

Similar to many of our clients, Robin suffered from a variety of mental issues, including bi-polar disorder, addiction, alcoholism and the physical and emotional effects of dealing with early Parkinson’s disease.

In honor of Robin Williams and September serving as Suicide Prevention Month, we would like to do our part in raising awareness on this issue. We want to shed light on the matter of asking for help and how it can prevent terrible tragedies from happening. Below are some risk factors and warning signs for increased suicide risk.

Risk factors: How do you tell who is at risk?

  • There has been one or more prior suicide attempts
  • A family history of mental disorder or substance abuse
  • A family history of suicide
  • Domestic violence
  • A history of physical or sexual abuse
  • Availability of firearms in the home
  • History of chronic physical illness, including chronic pain
  • History of incarceration
  • Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others

Warning signs: How do you know?

  • They talk about how they want to die or to kill oneself
  • Seeking out ways to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Your loved one talks about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • They mention in passing about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • There is constant talk about being a burden to others.
  • An increased use of alcohol or drugs.
  • They are acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Your loved one shows signs of feeling withdrawn or isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • They are displaying extreme mood swings

Most importantly, if you or someone you know is at risk, tell someone immediately. Our team is here to help. For immediate assistance call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.