You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Warning signs that a teen is in danger for suicide

Dr. Barry N. Feldman, director of psychiatric programs in public safety at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and an educator in suicide risk and prevention at high schools across the state, uses the acronym FACTS as a tool to outline the warning signs for teenage suicide.

F — Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness, badness, fears of losing control and harming oneself, sadness, anger, anxiety, self-loathing.

Continue reading below

A — Actions of drug or alcohol abuse, talking or writing about death and destruction, getting into fights, or doing dangerous things.

C — Changes in personality: acting like a different person, being withdrawn and tired, not caring about anything; becoming more talkative or outgoing, or dramatic mood changes. Changes in school participation and performance. Change in sleeping patterns, appearance, or eating habits. Sudden improvement after being down can mean the youth has made a decision to solve his problem by taking his life.

T — Threats: Overt statements like “I wish I could die,” or covert statements, such as giving away favorite possessions, stashing pills, or painting a picture of dying.

S — Situations: Getting into trouble at school, at home, in relationships, or with the law.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of