If someone you know is thinking about suicide... - Uberheroes

If someone you know is thinking about suicide…

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.


Warning Signs

  • 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


At Risk

  • 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
  • Self-Harm/Self-Injury
  • 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)

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