Although there are no official national statistics on attempted suicide (e.g., non-fatal actions) it is generally estimated that there are 25 attempts for each death by suicide. The vast majority of individuals who are suicidal often display cues and warning signs. Here is an easy to remember Mnemonic for warning signs of suicide: IS PATH WARM?
IS PATH WARM?
S Substance Abuse
M Mood Changes
Ideation: Expressed or communicated ideation – threatening to hurt or kill self, or talking of wanting to hurt or
kill self; looking for ways to kill self; talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
Substance Abuse: Increased substance (alcohol or drug) use
Purposelessness: No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
Anxiety: Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
Trapped: Feeling trapped (like there’s no way out)
Withdrawal: Withdrawal from friends, family and society
Anger: Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
Recklessness: Acting reckless or engaging in risk activities, seemingly without thinking
Mood Change: Dramatic mood changes
These warning signs were derived as a consensus from a meeting of internationally – renowned clinical researches held under the auspices of the AAS in Wellesley, MA in November 2003.