Warning Signs

There are many warning signs that can often be identified in someone you think may be at risk of committing suicide that we categorize into three groups: verbal, behavioural, and situational. 

What are they saying?

Direct verbal cues/invitations            Indirect verbal cues/invitations
Directly stating that they have decided to end their life
  Talking about feeling trapped or in pain, about feeling hopeless or expressing feelings of being a burden
"I've decided to kill myself"
  "I just can't go on anymore", "I'm so tired of it all"
"I wish I were dead"
  "What's the point of going on?", "I'm calling it quits, living is useless"
"I'm going to commit suicide"
  "My family would be better off without me", "You shouldn't have to worry about/take care of me any longer"


What are they doing?

Withdrawing or feeling isolated     Exhibiting extreme behavioural and mood changes
Displaying anger   Writing or creating art about death and dying
Experiencing significant weight gain or loss    Appearing unusually unkempt 
Giving away possessions   Making or changing a will/tying up loose ends 
Losing interest in sports and groups    Engaging in reckless behaviour 
Appearing hopeless and helpless    Experiencing anxiety and/or displaying agitation 
Sleeping too much or not enough    Increasing drug or alcohol use 
Reconnecting with loved ones   Suddenly appearing emotionally uplifted and calm* 
Acquiring the means or searching for methods online
 


What is happening in their life?

Death of a loved one         Loss of a relationship 
Academic struggles    Culture shock/acculturative stress
Change in health status/terminal illness   Loss of financial security 
Sudden, unexpected loss of freedom    Fear of becoming a burden to others
Historical trauma   Suicide clusters/echoes 

The possibility of suicide is most serious when a person has a plan for suicide that includes:

If someone you know is exhibiting any of the warning signs listed on this page, click here for things you can do to help.