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Recognizing Someone at Risk

If you are having thoughts about hurting yourself or someone else, immediately call Campus Police at 978-934-4911, or go to the nearest emergency room.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline logo

How do you know when something is more than just a bad day? 

Mental illnesses often will look different, person-to-person. Recognizing a significant shift in someone’s behavior or mood is a very telling sign that something may be wrong. Here are specific changes to look out for, which may create concern. See below for warning signs that someone may be considering suicide.

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Signs that someone may be having trouble coping:

Being late and not going to class
Increased used in drugs, alcohol, smoking 
Isolating from family and friends
Writing about death or dying
Fighting with family and friends
Changes in mood
Decline in grades
Withdrawing from activities previously enjoyed
Feeling overwhelmed
Not completing or handing in assignments late
Having low or no energy
Acting irritable or anxious
Falling asleep in class
Having unexplained aches and pains, such as headaches, stomachaches

Changes in appetite

Changes in sleep, whether it is sleeping too little or too much

Warning signs that someone may be considering suicide: 

  • Talking or writing about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online
  • Talking about feeling hopeless, helpless, or trapped
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Engaging in risky behaviors including, drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Giving away possessions

Read more about what to do to help if you're concerned about someone.