Hi, this is not meant as medical advice, but it might help you to have this in your head if you know someone that might be at risk for suicide so you can help them get professional help.
There is a method known as SLAP (or some people prefer PALS) for determining suicide risk.
: Social support -- does the person have social support? Someone with little or no social support is at higher risk.
: Lethality -- If the person has a plan, how lethal is the method? A gun is more lethal than a pill overdose.
: Access -- This is access to the method. Does the person have the pills or would they have to get them? Do they have the bullets or would they have to stop by wal-mart?
: Plan/previous attempts -- Does the person have a plan about how they would kill themselves, or just some vague notion that it might be better if they were dead? People with a specific plan or who have previously attempted suicide are at higher risk.
Now, if you suspect someone might be suicidal, simply ask them if they are planning on hurting themselves. Most of the time if they are, they will tell you!
If you are reading this and are feeling suicidal then read this first