18 Principles and Suicide Prevention

/18 Principles and Suicide Prevention
18 Principles and Suicide Prevention2018-07-20T11:01:06+00:00

If you are in a crisis and need help right away:

Call this toll-free number, available 24 hours a day, every day: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service available to anyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about. All calls are confidential.


For other resources related to Suicide Prevention, click here



As David began to teach classes on the 18 Principals, he found that every school visited had experienced a recent suicide. He also noticed that in every class there were kids in deep pain. As a result, David integrated suicide prevention into the program and it is now a part of the 18 Principles talks .


On a positive note two kids approached David one week after the first class incorporating suicide and told me of their concern about a friend in their class. We had a successful intervention with the individual getting the help and support needed, and as a result the school established a protocol to handle future situations.


The following was developed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and is a good guide to identify the warning signs, risk factors, and dos/don’ts of suicide

Warning Signs:
  • Signs of depression
  • Sadness
  • Loss of sleep or excessive sleep
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Sense of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Noticeable change in behavior
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Decline in performance of work, school or other activities
  • Reckless behavior
  • Giving away favorite possessions
  • Purchase of gun or pills
  • Sudden happiness after prolonged depression
  • Preoccupation with death and dying
  • Withdrawal from friends or family
  • Statements like “you won’t have to worry about me anymore,” or “I want to go to sleep and never wake up”
  • Threats of suicide


Risk Factors:

  • Previous suicide attempt
  • Loss of health (real or imagined)
  • Divorce, separation, or broken relationship
  • Death or terminal illness of a loved one
  • Loss of job, home, money
  • Family history of suicide
  • Depression
  • Someone close to individual has completed suicide




  • Take suicide threats seriously
  • Ask questions
  • Listen in a non-judgmental way – “I’m here for you”, “let’s talk”
  • Take action – get individual connected with professional help
  • Do not keep suicide threats a secret
  • Do not act shocked or condemn
  • Do not point out how much better off they are than others
  • Do not interject your own problems and feelings
  • Do not suggest drugs and alcohol as a solution
  • Do not minimize the person – feeling and do not offer simple solutions
  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Do not try to be a therapist, get professional help