Learn The Signs
The first step is recognizing there is some concern and then following up. In order to recognize the signs, you have to know what they are. In general, change in behavior or interaction is a sign there is something going on. Though all people do not exhibit the same signs, there are some common factors identified with increased risk. All signs are worth recognizing. Remember these signs by the acronym “IS PATH WARM.”
- Isolation – Is your loved one pulling away from you? Have they withdrawn from social groups and activities?
- Substance Abuse – Is your loved one experimenting with drugs and /or alcohol
- Purposelessness – Does your loved one think about and/or plan for the future?
- Anxiety – Does your loved one seem nervous, worried, stressed?
- Trapped – Is motivation poor? Does your loved one express statements that reflect feeling stuck or trapped?
- Hopelessness – Is there promise? Is there consideration for the future and the rest yet to come?
- Withdrawal – Is there a connection with you and your loved one? Does he/she connect with anyone?
- Anger – Does he/she seem increasingly agitated or aggressive?
- Recklessness – Is he/she engaging in risk-taking behaviors?
- Mood Changes – Have there been unusual or dramatic changes in mood or behavior?