What are the warning signs for suicide?
Making a suicide attempt
Preparing for a suicide attempt (e.g., collecting medications, trying to access a weapon, researching ways to end their life or trying to buy tools to use in suicide)
Talking about suicide (e.g., “I’m going to kill myself,” or “People will be better off without me”)
Writing suicide notes, saying goodbye, giving away belongings or getting their affairs in order
Showing big changes in their personality, routines, thinking or energy level (e.g., not sleeping, excessive pacing, hearing voices or experiencing paranoia)
Taking part in risky, violent or self-destructive behaviour (CAMH, 2017)
What if my family member shows warning signs for suicide?
Take your family member to the nearest hospital emergency department, if you can do so safely.
If the person will not go to the hospital or you are unsure if this is the right thing to do, get help from a health care provider as quickly as possible. You can call your family member’s health care team or a crisis line.
If your loved one is attempting or about to attempt suicide, and you are not at risk, call 911 and do not leave them alone.
Keep yourself safe. If your family member is agitated, threatening or aggressive, call 911 while making sure you and others are safe.
Do not challenge or argue with your loved one—try to stay supportive and calm (CAMH, 2017).
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- If you are in crisis, please call 911
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