Things to listen and look out for
Any threat of suicide must be taken seriously.
- “You won’t have to worry about me for much longer”
- “If I don’t see you again, thanks for everything”
- “I can’t live without her, there’s nothing to live for”
- “You’re better off without me, I’ll fix things”
- Open talk of death or suicide indicates a strong possibility of suicide, even more so if there’s evidence of a plan.
- Previous suicide attempts (may be self-harming behaviours)
- Talks about, writes about, hints or threatens suicide
- Giving away or packing up belongings, making a will or other ‘final’ arrangements
- Gathering together lethal objects
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol and /or a history of drug / alcohol use
- Current or prior mental illness
- Deteriorating relationships with others and / or excessive dependency on a key person
- Isolating, being distant or remote, staying on their own for long periods, foetal position, vacant staring
- Changes in sleep patterns – insomnia or hypersomnia
- Changes in appetite – gain / loss in weight
- Impaired school work, truancy, running away
- Loss of interest in appearance and personal hygiene
Check in: How you may start the conversation
- Q) I get the feeling something’s on your mind. Are you OK?
- Q) You don’t really seem like your old self and I’m concerned. What’s going on with you?
- Q) I am really worried about you, and I want to be here for you, lets chat about what is going on.
- Q) I want you to know you’re not alone. I’m here for you. Can you talk about what’s going on for you?
- Q) It can be really normal when going through a really difficult time in your life to think about ways out of the situation. Sometimes people think about ending their life or hurting themselves, is that something that is going on for you?
Listen without Judgement
When someone tells you they feel suicidal, or feel like “ending it all”, it is hard to listen without judgment yet we should try as best we can. Acknowledge that it is natural to feel alarmed, fearful or even rejected when a loved one or close friend tells us that they are feeling suicidal. Often having someone to talk to can help keep someone safe.
If someone tells you they have attempted suicide in the past and/or they have been in contact with a mental health professional then their risk of suicide is increased.
Please seek help from a professional in your area.
Take them and their feelings seriously
When someone tells you they feel suicidal, or feel like “ending it all” – take them seriously. Every attempt to reach out for help is an opportunity to help keep someone safe.