With suicide affecting millions of Australians every year, it’s important to know how to recognise the warning signs in the people around you.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal tendencies, don’t hesitate to call 000. If you’re concerned about a loved one but aren’t sure whether they’re at risk of suicide, it’s always best to ask them. You can take a look at our previous blog to see how you can talk to them and ensure their safety.
As with any illness though, there are usually warning signs when it comes to suicide. Let’s take a look at a few of them…
Common signs to look out for
Verbal signs: This can include directly talking about suicide or death, such as “I don’t want to live anymore.” It can also manifest in more indirect verbal expressions, such as suggesting that things will never get better or that their situation is hopeless. Language is powerful and can indicate hidden thoughts or feelings, even if the intent is never expressed openly.
Physical signs: Severe mental health problems don’t just concern the mind – they can affect one’s physical health too. This can become evident in ways such as:
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Lowered sex drive
- Ignoring personal hygiene
- A change in sleeping patterns
- Loss of energy
Behavioural signs: When someone is really struggling, they can begin to act in ways that seem out of character. This can present itself in:
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Withdrawing from social activities they once enjoyed
- Emotional outbursts of sadness, anger or guilt
While every person is different, these are all indications that someone isn’t coping with their mental illness. Ultimately, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So, follow your instincts and if you think someone needs professional support, speak up.
What to do if you think someone is suicidal
In matters of suicide, it’s necessary to err on the side of caution. If you’re worried that someone has or is planning to kill themselves but aren’t 100% certain, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Call 000 and organise for the necessary authorities to conduct a welfare check on the person to ensure they are safe.
If you don’t believe someone is in immediate danger, talk to them about getting professional help. Let them know that they aren’t alone, and a future where they are happy and safe from harmful thoughts is possible.
Ok To Talk can match them with a psychologist suited to their needs. Better help is within reach, so start the process today.