Risk Factors – Unchangeable And Changeable

Risk Factors are aspects of a person’s life that may put the person at greater risk of suicide, suicidal behavior or self-harm.  

Many suicides are in response to some immediate or specific stress (e.g. relationship breakdown and job loss). Each person reacts to stress differently. Although there is a lot of variation in the characteristics of those who suicide, the most common feature is that a number of risk factors have come together at one point in time.

 Risk factors may include:

Unchangeable (static) Changeable (dynamic)
Male Suicidal thinking
Aged 25-55 Suicidal plan/intent
Retirement Feelings of hopelessness
Family history of suicide/mental illness MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS Stressful life events
Natural disasters Legal problems
History of: Financial problems
- previous attempts Intoxication (drunkeness) SUBSTANCE MISUSE
- deliberate self-harm SELF-HARMING & SUICIDAL ACTS Poor social support
- childhood abuse Impulsivity
- medical illness Interpersonal problems
 - cultural issues Perceived inability to cope
 - long-term unemployment Recent loss
 - anti-social behaviour Shame
- domestic violence Health problems
  Employment problems
  Low self-esteem
 USEFUL CONTACTS Music, movies or websites with negative messages

This list is by no means exhaustive. Some of the factors listed merit their own link. Some of these risk factors are more relevant to certain groups and will be outlined under their respective group headings. "Having protective factors lowers suicide risk. Examples of protective factors are: supportive family/friends; involving self in community; an understanding doctor. An activity or help seeking behaviour that reduces any risk factor is a protective factor.”



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