Suicide Signs and What To Do

Suicide Signs and What To Do

Today is Australia’s national R U OK? Day – a day organised by the R U OK? non-profit suicide organisation to remind and encourage us to have conversations about suicide.

Do you know how to detect the signs of suicide? 

Here’s some of clues that might mean someone close to you is considering ending their life:

Things they might do:

  • Withdraw socially
  • Give possessions away
  • Change their online content; post/share content different to their normal self
  • Lose interest in what they normally do
  • Act reckless
  • Have difficulty sleeping


Things they might say:

  • “The world would be a better place if I wasn’t here”
  • “What’s the point?”
  • “I’d be better off dead”
  • “Nobody would miss me”
  • “Life is meaningless”


Things they might feel:

  • Moody
  • Irrational
  • Worthless
  • Hopeless
  • Frantic


Things they might be experiencing:

  • Relationship stress
  • Medical stress/recent terminal diagnosis/physical chronic pain
  • Financial/work stress
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Traumatic news


Having the conversation with someone about suicide could save their life.

Start by paying attention to clues based on the things you notice them doing, not doing, saying, and not saying.  Try asking – R U OK?  Listen to their concerns, fears, and feelings.  Just by listening and showing someone who is considering suicide that you are willing to hear their story can mean the difference between life and death.  Listen for any doubts and any “life-tethers” – things that they enjoy, used to enjoy, upcoming plans, things they speak of fondly or have so in the past.  The very fact that they are talking to you about their suicidal thoughts means that there is likely some part of them that wants help and wants to stay alive.

Help them get connected to a mental health professional – click here for a comprehensive list of resources and referrals around Australia for suicide prevention support.  Calling/contacting supports with your friend or loved one, making the appointment at a clinic or a treatment centre together, and even going with them to the appointment/treatment clinic are ways you can help make sure they’re able to commit to life long enough to get professional support.

If you are in immediate danger of harming yourself and are considering suicide, contact Lifeline at 13 11 14 to speak to a crisis counsellor and get the help that you deserve to stay alive.

Suicide is preventable, and knowing the signs and the supports out there is important.  Check out the R U OK? website here to learn more about getting involved in suicide awareness and prevention.