Verbal and behavioural warning signs often occur before most suicides.
Some people may seem OK outwardly because they may be keen not to show others they are struggling, so as not to worry them. It is not always possible to recognise these warning signs, but if you are concerned about a change of behaviour or gut feeling, it is ok to ask the person or pass on your concern to support services.
More risky behaviour
- Dramatic mood swings
- Impulsive or reckless behaviour
- Collecting and saving pills or buying a weapon
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- Aggressive behaviour
Change of behaviour
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawal from friends, family and community (social isolation)
Communicating a desire
- Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
- Talking about feeling trapped or being in pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Mentioning strong feelings of guilt and shame
Getting life in order
- Giving away possessions
- Tying up loose ends, like organizing personal papers or paying off debts
- Saying goodbye to friends and family
An uplift in mood and positivity
While these may be indicators, sometimes there are no signs that something is wrong. If you have lost someone in your life to suicide and are feeling any guilt or blame, then we urge you to be kind to yourself and also seek support. You cannot be responsible for everyone’s actions.
More information about suicide and bereavement support can be found here