Menu Close

The Risk Factors for Suicide

man struggles with risk factors for suicide

“Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States,” reports the National Institute of Mental Health. Arbor Behavioral Healthcare knows that suicide is preventable. It is everyone’s job to know the risk factors and warning signs of suicide. You can also know what to do to help someone who is struggling with thoughts of suicide. Keeping a watchful eye is everyone’s responsibility. Let’s stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Let’s work together to end suicide.   

Risk factors for suicide by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“A combination of individual, relationship, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of suicide. Risk factors are those characteristics associated with suicide — they might not be direct causes.”  

  • Family history of suicide
  • Family history of child maltreatment
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression
  • History of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Cultural and religious beliefs (e.g., belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma)
  • Local epidemics of suicide
  • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
  • Physical illness
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or to suicidal thoughts


Protective factors for suicide by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Protective factors buffer individuals from suicidal thoughts and behaviors.”  

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help-seeking
  • Family and community support (connectedness)
  • Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
  • Skills in problem-solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation


If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911. You deserve help. You will get through this. Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here for you, too. We can give you the help you deserve. We have inpatient treatment for those who need it, as well as intensive outpatient programs that are less rigorous. Call us today for more information at 844-413-2690. We want to hear from you. Call us now, you won’t be disappointed.