It is not always easy to detect the warning signs of a suicidal crisis because they may be discreet or deliberately hidden.
What are the signs that should alert us to the existence of suicidal thoughts?
People often avoid talking explicitly about their suicidal thoughts for fear of disturbing others, out of shame or guilt.
However, certain signs may indicate suicidal thoughts:
- when signs of suffering are numerous, affect different areas of someone's life and there is an abrupt change in behaviour (sadness, despair, anger, alcohol consumption, low class attendance, etc.).
- when the person makes explicit or indirect statements about death or suicide:
I've thought of a solution, but I don't want to talk about it.
I'm tired of fighting.
You won't have to worry about me much longer.
I can't take it anymore, I'd rather kill myself than go through this.
For me, death is the only solution.
What are the warning signs of an imminent risk of suicide?
Certain words or behaviours should immediately raise a red flag, such as verbalizing the desire or thought of hurting or taking one's own life. In addition, if the person :
- Unusually puts personal belongings in order (gives away personal belongings, pet, etc.).
- Learns about suicide methods or acquires lethal means
- Talks about a suicidal scenario (date, time frame, means of committing suicide)
- Says goodbye
- Seems to be going through or causing unexplained friendship and family breakdowns
These signs indicate that suicide is being considered, is imminent and that it is urgent to act.