Warning signs of suicide

The following behaviours are common among people who are considering taking their own life. If someone is showing one or more of these signs, or if you have noticed changes in the person, it is important to respond quickly by talking to them and encouraging them to get professional help. It is always better to talk about it and to act rather than not to act. Don't expect that someone else will do this.

Most people who die by suicide have told someone. Although many people who say they have suicidal thoughts never take their lives, it is important that all threats are taken seriously. In some extreme cases, a person who is at imminent risk of suicide is also at risk of endangering or taking the life of someone else.

  • Threatening or talking about hurting or killing themselves.
  • Looking for ways to kill themselves, or talking about a suicide plan or date.
  • Talking or writing about death and dying from suicide.
  • Talking about feelings of hopelessness.
  • Extreme emotions and what can appear as irrational expressions of rage, revenge, or anger.
  • Self-harming, or engaging in reckless or risky behaviours.
  • Feelings of being trapped, talking about no way out or no other option.
  • Increased use of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Withdrawing or disconnecting from friends, family or the community.
  • Anxiety or agitation.
  • A change in sleep patterns - not sleeping or sleeping all the time.
  • Dramatic changes in mood, for example sudden feelings of happiness after a long period of sadness or depression.
  • Saying goodbye to family and/or friends, talking about going away, giving away possessions, leaving farewell messages on social media sites.
  • Saying they have no reason for living, no point any more, or have no purpose in life.

If you are worried that someone you know is suicidal, get urgent help information at YourMentalHealth.ie.