(3) Behavior warnings. A person may not make statements that indicate he
is considering suicide. Instead, he may show through his behavior that he is suicidal.
Some of these behavioral warnings are:
(a) Organizing personal-business matters as if he were going away for
a long time.
(b) Planning his own funeral shortly after the death of a loved one.
Suddenly resigning from clubs and church groups to which he
(d) Crying for no apparent reason.
(e) Composing a suicide note. These are sometimes found days
before the suicide occurs.
Attempted suicide is the strongest behavioral warning.
(g) Unexplained change from usual behavior patterns. A non- drinker
begins drinking to excess. A person who hates guns suddenly buys one.
(h) Sudden, unexplained recovery from a severe depression. Some
persons who have decided to kill themselves may appear quite happy. Actually, they
are not happy but relieved because they have made the decision to kill themselves.
You can not tell just by looking at the person.
k. Management of the Potential Suicide.
(1) When to intervene. The medical specialist should take appropriate
intervention actions when an individual displays potentially suicidal behavior, or when a
person is a clear and present danger to himself or to others.
(a) Communication with the patient should convey the message that
you care about him. Assure the person that help is available, and you will assist him in
getting that help.
(b) It is not easy to determine if a person is about to commit suicide. If
you suspect that a soldier has suicidal intentions, refer him to specifically trained
personnel, such as an MOS 91X (Mental Health Specialist).
(c) If an individual should confront a medical specialist with immediate
means of suicide on his person, such as medication, a knife, or a gun, use caution in
intervening so as not to endanger other people or yourself.