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Suicide Prevention Agency Highlights Tell-Tale Signs

By Hanna Qira and Sam Vaught

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The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has identified several critical warning signs that parents, friends, family and education professionals can look for to determine if someone is poised to commit suicide.

  1. Talking about wanting to die or killing oneself
  2. Looking for a way to kill oneself
  3. Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  4. Talking about being trapped or being in unbearable pain
  5. Talking about being a burden to others
  6. Acting reckless
  7. Acting anxious agitated, or reckless
  8. Sleeping too little or too much
  9. Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  10. Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  11. Displaying extreme mood swings
  12. Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  13. Giving away possessions
  14. Withdrawing from activities
  15. Drastic change in appearance

As far as the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why goes, Hannah Baker’s signs were somewhat clear.

  1. Hair- In the show, Hannah shows several signs of suicide. The sign that stands out the most is when she decides to cut her hair. Hannah’s going from long to short hair is a drastic change in appearance.
  2. Room- Both Hannah and Alex started to organize their rooms before attempting to commit suicide. The reason for this action is to put things in order, as stated by Hannah in the show, and to preserve their room in pristine condition since they will no longer be alive to take care of their possessions.
  3. Letter- Hannah writes a topic to discuss in her Peer Communications class. The note is anonymous and it talks about how the person does not feel anything anymore. The class dismisses this as someone asking for attention and being dramatic, and the teacher, Mrs. Bradley, does not address the topic any further.  
  4. Feeling hopeless- Hannah goes to her guidance counselor, Mr. Porter, and tells him that she feels hopeless and that she does not want to live anymore. She discusses how she feels empty and does not care about anything. However, Mr. Porter does not pick up on Hannah’s pleas for help.   
  5. Isolation- Hannah isolates herself from her parents in her final days. She is very distant from them. She also isolates herself from Clay, as she does not talk to him as much as she used to.

Sophomore Maddie Luster said, “I think overall the show did a good job of portraying the signs of suicide and it shows that not many people know the signs, with Hannah’s peers not noticing anything.”

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The student news site of Wayne Hills High School
Suicide Prevention Agency Highlights Tell-Tale Signs