Risk factors are habits or histories that put someone at greater likelihood of having a problem. Some of the risk factors for suicide may be inherited, such as a family history of suicide. Others, like physical illness, may also be out of your control. But if you can recognize the risk factors for suicide early and act to change the ones you can control, you may save your life — or that of a close friend or family member.

Read the suicide risk factors below and check the ones you can control. (For instance, you can talk to a mental health professional for ways to deal with lack of social support, feelings of hopelessness, or mood disorders like depression.)

It’s important to take these risk factors for suicide very seriously:

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Psychological and mental disorders, especially depression and other mood disorders, schizophrenia, and social anxiety
  • Substance abuse and/or alcohol disorders
  • History of abuse or mistreatment
  • Family history of suicide
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Physical illness
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Financial or social loss
  • Relationship loss
  • Isolation or lack of social support
  • Easy access to methods/means of suicide
  • Exposure to others who have committed suicide