PART A - IDENTIFY THE WARNING SIGNS WHICH INDICATE THAT A
PERSON HAS AN INCREASED POTENTIAL FOR SUICIDE
The chaplain assistant can effectively promote suicide risk reduction by acquiring the ability to
recognize the warning signs of suicide. Intervening in a crisis situation involves listening, referring, and
taking the individual to the chaplain or an appropriate agency for counseling. In the absence of a
supervisor or referral service, the chaplain assistant is required to make an immediate evaluation of the
suicidal person and remain with the individual until help arrives. A suicide risk management team is
available within some Army divisions and large facilities to provide emergency medical and alternate
care for high risk suicidal persons and their families, if necessary.
Verbal Warning signs.
Generally, individuals who are contemplating suicide talk about their intentions either directly or
indirectly. Since verbal warnings signify an immediate danger, all verbal clues should be taken
Examples of direct verbal warning signs:
"I'm going to kill myself".
"I wish I were dead".
Examples of indirect verbal warning signs:
"They'll be sorry when I'm gone".
"You know, son, I'm going home soon".
Behavioral Warning Signs.
Certain actions can signal a risk of suicide. Actions or gestures can be either direct or indirect:
Direct behavioral warning signs.
Suicide gestures or attempts.
Indirect behavior warning signs.
Making a will (unexpectedly)
Ordering or making arrangements for a casket, burial plot, tombstone, etc.
Increased consumption of alcohol, drugs or both.
Buying a gun or formulating plans to obtain a lethal weapon.