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Suicide Training, Education, and Prevention Services

Risk Factors for Suicide 
provided by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Biopsychosocial Risk Factors

Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders

  •  Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Some major physical illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt
  • Family history of suicide

Environmental Risk Factors

  • Job or financial loss
  • Relational or social loss
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of suicide that have a contagious influence

Socialcultural Risk Factors

  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with help-seeking behavior
  • Barriers to accessing health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Certain cultural and religious beliefs (for instance, the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma)
  • Exposure to, including through the media, and influence of others who have died by suicide
If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call either the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or call 911.
Inclusion of any websites or their information found on this website do not constitute endorsement by the Memphis STEPS program; the websites and their information are provided because they offer useful information about suicide prevention and mental health promotion.
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Last Updated: 1/23/12