Let’s talk about suicide- Warning Signs
Very often when there is a death by suicide, the people left behind start finding clues/signs that the deceased had been showing prior to their death. This is followed by numerous if-only’s and an assortment of what they could have done – all in retrospect. Looking back in regret or otherwise does not bring back the lost life. Therefore, let’s commit to look forward and help prevent another death by suicide.
Let’s educate ourselves about suicide and the warning signs, and be aware of the prevention measures.
So, how can you prevent death by suicide?
Table of Contents: Let’s talk about suicide- Warning Signs
- 1 Look out for the WARNING SIGNS
- 2 STEPS TO TAKE after you see the warning signs:
- 2.1 Confirm suicidal thoughts / feelings
- 2.2 Listen
- 2.3 Do not leave them alone
- 2.4 Remove potentially lethal items from the person’s reach
- 2.5 Do not promise to keep their suicidal feelings a secret
- 2.6 Find suicide helpline and encourage them to reach to call the number
- 2.7 Encourage them to seek professional help
Look out for the WARNING SIGNS
You can recognize the warning signs in what they say, how they behave and their overall mood.
Are they talking about:
- Killing themselves
- Feeling hopeless
- Having no reason to live
- Being a burden to others
- Feeling trapped
- Unbearable pain
Is there a marked difference in their behavior (as a result of any stressful life events)
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Looking for a way to end their lives, such as searching online for methods
- Withdrawing from activities
- Isolating from family and friends
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
- Giving away prized possessions
What’s their mood like?
- Loss of interest
- Relief/Sudden Improvement
DO NOT ignore the warning signs
Many times we may let the warning signs slide for fear of embarrassing ourselves or offending the other person.
No amount of embarrassment or offense could be worth a life. So, go ahead and ask the person if they are alright, if they are thinking of killing themselves.
Rest assured, you are NOT endangering the person’s life although there is a misunderstanding that we should not speak about suicide to someone we think are suicidal.
Related Article: 8 OBSERVABLE SIGNS OF DEPRESSION – SEEING WHEN THEY ARE NOT SAYING
STEPS TO TAKE after you see the warning signs:
Confirm suicidal thoughts / feelings
When you ask the person if they are having suicidal thoughts or feelings, it does not increase the suicide risk. If they confirm having suicidal thoughts / feelings, then ask the three follow-up questions:
- Have you thought about how you would do it?
- Do you have what you need to carry out your plan?
- Do you know when you will do it?
LISTEN to them when they accept that they are thinking of killing themselves. Refrain from giving UNSOLICITED ADVICE, instead give them your empathetic ears, and LISTEN, listen non-judgmentally.
Do not leave them alone
Leaving the person alone increases the suicide risk. Make sure that they have someone around them all the time or at least till the time the risk is abated.
Remove potentially lethal items from the person’s reach
Lethal items could include sharp objects like knives from the kitchen, handy tools, chemicals, medicines, sleeping pills, pesticides or insecticides, etc. We must remove such items and make sure they are inaccessible.
Do not promise to keep their suicidal feelings a secret
When someone confirms having suicidal feelings, they may ask you to keep it a secret. You cannot, you mustn’t. Instead, you must get help and encourage them to speak to professionals.
Find suicide helpline and encourage them to reach to call the number
You can help someone with suicidal feelings to connect to suicide helplines available in your area for immediate intervention as they are better equipped and better able to handle the situation professionally.
Encourage them to seek professional help
Once the immediate threat is overusing the steps above, it is always better to encourage the person to seek further professional help. The warning signs may resurface in time without appropriate postvention.
Suicides are preventable claims World Health Organization (WHO) “with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions.”
You and I can prevent suicide. So, let us do our part and be a part of such timely intervention in preventing another death by suicide.
35 thoughts on “Let’s talk about suicide- Warning Signs”
Oof. I think it’s so important, especially right now, to pay attention to mental health-our own, but also others’. Thanks for these things to look out for.
Everyone should be aware of these suicide warning signs. You never know, this might save someone’s life.
Indeed, it is very important to take care of our mental health especially when the whole world is going through a hard time .
This article is very engaging and educational, especially for people who feel it’s the end of the road, also provides us with tips to stay alert and help those in this kind of situation.
Thank you. Do share this article with your friends and families to spread awareness about the suicide warning signs.
Great article,very timely. Now that I’m in season 3 of “13 reasons why”. Such a great series.
It’s high time, we educate ourselves about these sensitive issues like suicide, it’s warning signs and ways to help.
It’s very important to take care of mental health. There are lots of suicide prevention helplines are available. These helplines provide free, unconditional emotional support and are available across India. Thanks for sharing these signs with us. Will kept in mind
Do share it with your friends as well. Thank you.
This is so helpful. We need to remove the stigma so that we can help those who are suffering.
Mental health stigma is what makes people with mental health issues feel worse.
Thank you for taking the time to spread awareness about such a sensitive topic, I hope that all people know that suicide is never an answer.
Welcome. Let’s hope that no one dies of suicide 🙁
Amazing article! Right time to read this article! loved it!
Thanks a lot. Do share the article to spread awareness about this sensitive topic.
This is very important. We must all know what warning signs to look out for so we can help others.
Exactly, knowing these signs might help us save a life.
Yeah totally agree with every single point..everything is damn true and these warning signs seems to be very helpful to identify whether one is really thinking of suicide or not…true when one thinks of doing anything he continuously keeps on talking about that even in joke too… But i am confused with the point that he or she will rarely admit that really wants to commit…Well this is indeed very meaningful..Thanks for sharing these all…Great work..
I hope this article helps us to recognize the suicidal intention of someone on the basis of the warning signs. Thank you.
It’s so important to understand these warning signs, thank you for sharing this article.
I’ve been part of several suicide trainings, but refreshers are always a good thing. Thank you.
It is very important to aware people about mental health issues including suicide:)
I have dealt with this with family members. It is very difficult but I was grateful that me and other family members saw the signs and were able to help in time.
Exactly. So happy to know this. Kudos to you guys. 🙂
Raising awareness about suicide is super important. It may not be us, but we could save a life by knowing to see the signs of suicide.
Recognizing the warning signs may help us save a life. 🙂
Aww this post is such a big help for is to be aware of the alert signals towards those who have suicidal tendencies.
If help arrives at the right time, a life can be saved. 🙂
Knowing the warning signs is very important, thank you for calling attention to this very important issue.
Glad you found this helpful. 🙂
This was much needed. An informative post which people should read, especially now. Thanks for sharing!
this is such an important post — thank you for raising awareness!
cute & little