Suicide Prevention


Suicide Prevention

image of two young men talking to each other at the beach

Here you will find resources to help support someone concerned about their own risk of suicide or that of someone else.

Red flags that someone may be at risk of suicide

  • “You won’t have to worry about me for much longer”
  • “Think about me when you listen to that song”
  • “I might not be around next month”
  • “There’s not enough time to tell you all my problems”
  • “Thanks for coming but it’s too late”
  • “If I don’t see you again, thanks for everything”
  • “ I can’t live without her, there’s nothing to live for”
  • “I’ve lived long enough, who wants to grow old?”
  • “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.
  • Any threat of suicide must be taken seriously
  • Previous suicide attempts (may be self-harming behaviors)
  • 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
  • Risk-taking behaviors, reckless thrill-seeking
  • Deteriorating relationships with others and / or excessive dependency on a key person
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and direct care staff and / or from previously enjoyed activities
  • Isolating, being distance or remote, staying on their own for long periods, fetal position, vacant staring
  • Changes in sleep patterns – insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Changes in appetite – gain / loss in weight
  • Unexplained crying
  • Agitation – pacing, head banging, rocking
  • Impaired school work, truancy, running away
  • Loss of interest in appearance and personal hygiene
  • Disorientation, disorganization
  • Change in sexual activity – lack of or increased activity

Check in:

Here are some conversation starters you can use if you’re concerned someone you know may be thinking of suicide:

If you’re concerned about someone and concerned they might be thinking about suicide, Check In with them. Often people thinking of suicide give out lots of signals that they are not okay. One of the best things we can do is ask how they are and be prepared to listen.

Here are some ways you can ask:

Q) Mate, 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’m really concerned about you. Can you tell me what’s 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?

Get them talking, connect with them, listen to them. If you have concerns that they may be thinking of suicide then ask them directly.

Q) Mate, sometimes when people go through tough times they can think about ending their lives. Is this how you’re feeling? Are you thinking about suicide?

Listen without judgement

When someone tells you they feel suicidal, or feel like “ending it all”, listen without judgment. 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 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.

Ask if they have a plan

When someone tells you they feel suicidal, or feel like ending it all – do they have a plan? If someone has a plan then you may need some help to keep them safe. Connecting in with a professional or someone who knows suicide first aid is the best thing to do.

Connect with professionals

When someone tells you they feel suicidal, or feel like ‘ending it all”, and/or they have a plan, connect in with professionals. Unless you are trained in suicide first aid it is best to connect in with someone with the tools to help keep them safe.

If you believe you, or someone you know, may be in immediate danger, please call 111.

Links for more information

  • Zero Suicide: zero suicide toolkit and suicide prevention research.
  • Mental Health Foundation: information and resources about mental health in New Zealand.
  • Skylight: suicide bereavement information and resources.
  • World Suicide Prevention Day – 10 September
  • Social Media and Suicide Postvention: the role of social media in suicide postvention.
  • Good Yarn Workshops: workshops for rural communities to talk about mental wellness.
  • VIDEO – TED Talk: why we choose suicide.
  • VIDEO – Warning Signs for Suicide: How to recognise some visible warning signs that indicate someone may be at immediate or imminent risk for attempting suicide.
  • VIDEO – The Power of Empathy: What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering?