Identifying signs that someone may be thinking about suicide can be confusing and difficult.
If you are concerned about your immediate safety or the safety of someone else – Ring 111
Some people who are suicidal might not show these signs, and some of these signs may not be obvious. People who feel suicidal might try to hide what they are going through or pretend they are okay. If you think that someone might be at risk, pay attention to changes in their behaviour, trust your instincts and ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide.
If someone shows one or more of these signs, it doesn't necessarily mean they are suicidal, but they may need support.
You might notice they start:
- telling you they want to die or kill themselves
- accessing things they could use to hurt themselves, like a rope, gun or pills
- not really coping with any problems they may be having
- showing changes in mood - becoming depressed, angry or enraged
- suddenly calm or happy after you know they have been depressed or suicidal
- giving away possessions, paying back debts or 'tying up loose ends'
- becoming isolated or withdrawn from whānau, family and friends
- having no hope for the future
- feeling worthless, guilty, whakamā or ashamed
- self harming - for example cutting skin or taking an overdose
- using drugs or alcohol to cope with difficult feelings or thoughts
- losing or gaining a lot of weight, or having unusual eating patterns
- sleeping a lot more than usual, or not getting enough sleep
- losing interest in life, or things they used to enjoy
- stop taking their medication
- act recklessly
- reading or writing about suicide online, or posting photos or videos about suicide
- becoming obsessed with death.
Skylight is here to help you navigate this difficult time. We have contract counselling services in Wellington, Porirua, Lower Hutt, Churton Park, Kāpiti, Whangarei, Auckland, New Plymouth and Christchurch and a partnership network across Aotearoa for support in other regions.
Our specialised Resource Centre and library can support you with information, publications, books and Dvds, accessible nationwide free of charge. Please follow the links to contact us for further information and access to the support that you and your whānau need.
We invite you to find out about our Waves programme - an evidence-based, well-evaluated programme for people bereaved by suicide at any time in their lives (for 17+ years old) or Travellers - a school based programme promoting resilience and well-being in year 9 students.