Several years ago, the American Association of Suicidology developed a mnemonic to aid in remembering the warning signs for suicide. It's quite a list, so a quick way of recalling the most important warning signs can be very beneficial. The mnemonic developed, IS PATH WARM? appears below, along with further detail about each warning sign.
S Substance Abuse
M Mood changes
The warning signs of acute risk are related to suicide ideation and require immediate action:
-Threatening to hurt or kill himself or herself, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill himself or herself; and/or,
-Looking for ways to kill himself or herself by seeking access to means; and/or,
-Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary.
Additional Warning Signs
Increased substance use
No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
Feeling trapped - like there's no way out
Withdrawal from friends, family, and society
Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
Dramatic mood changes