Know the signs

Suicide is a complex issue and always has more than one cause. The pain someone is feeling may not be obvious, but most suicidal people show some signs that they are thinking about suicide. You might notice these signs in conversations, through their actions, or in how they act on social media. People who are thinking about suicide do not want to die, they just want the pain they are feeling to stop and are unable to see any other options. If you observe one or more of these warning signs, especially if the behavior is new, or has caused a negative change in your loved one’s life, it may be time to reach out to them.

Warning Signs

  • Talking about wanting to die or suicide
  • Putting affairs in order
  • No sense of purpose
  • Feeling helpless, desperate, or trapped
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Giving away possessions
  • Anxiety or agitation
  • Increased substance use
  • Reckless behaviors
  • Changes in sleep
  • Withdrawn or isolating themselves
  • Uncontrolled anger
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Neglecting their personal appearance

Call 911 or contact PACT at 780-830-5700 immediately if someone is:

  • Talking about death or suicide.
  • Seeking methods for self-harm, such as searching online or obtaining a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live

I’ve Noticed These Warning Signs, What Do I Do Next?

Starting the conversation about suicide with a loved one is one of the most difficult things to do. It will also be the most important thing you can do in this moment. This is not an easy conversation to have but there are a few steps that will make it a little less difficult.

Visit our How to Help a Friend or Loved One page to learn what to say.

Protective Factors

Suicide is preventable. There are a number of things that can help protect against suicide. These are called protective factors.

  • Self-esteem and a sense of purpose or meaning in life
  • Life skills including coping and problem solving skills
  • Steady employment
  • A strong identity
  • Spiritual supports
  • Access to community supports
  • Access to healthcare and mental health services
  • Positive relationships
  • Following a healthy lifestyle
  • Supportive environments where you’re accepted and valued
If you’re struggling with your mental health or are worried about someone, you are not alone. Get help now.