1. Take it seriously, even if you think your friend will brush it off. Suicidal ideation (continual suicidal thoughts) is not typical or usual and it reflects a bigger problem.
2. A friend who is angry is better than a friend who is dead
3. Ask, listen, tell, if the threat is immediate stay with the person.
4. Bring friend to a trusted adult. If they don’t know what to do or don’t take it seriously find another adult.
5. Be a good listener, but remember that having suicidal thoughts reflects a bigger underlying problem such as depression, substance problems, abuse, or problem-solving difficulties. You can listen, but they need to speak to a professional.
6. Thirty percent of those who attempt suicide tell someone before, but many don’t tell anyone after.
- When some talks to you, that is the moment for intervention – call for support but don’t leave them alone
- With each suicide attempt, risk of suicide increases.
- Change in mood: sadness, anxiety, irritability
- Change in behaviour, wanting to be alone – isolating
- Change in sleep – increased or decreased
- Change in appetite- increased or decreased
- Increase in aggression or impulsiveness
- Agitation – zero patience
- Feeling hopeless – worthless – useless
- Saying things like “Who’d miss me” or “You’d be better off without me” “ What’s the point of living”
- Feeling ashamed, humiliated or desperate, potential reactions after a break-up or test
- Chatting about wanting to kill themselves
- Good scores now resulting in poor exam or weekly test results
- Risk-taking – extreme behaviours
- Giving away valued possessions
- Previous Suicide Attempts
- Untreated Depression (sometimes can be expressed through aggression)
- Untreated Mental Illnesses (Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders and others)
- Inadequate comprehension of death
- Risk taking behaviours
- Abuse of drugs or alcohol
- Exposure to violence or abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
- Family history of psychiatric problems/family member who has died by suicide
- Unstable family situation-frequent moves/multiple caregivers if in foster care
- Early stressful life events (for example, death, divorce)
- Negative school experiences (including bullying)