risk factors

If someone is feeling suicidal, they don't have to be ashamed of those feelings. In fact, the best thing they can do is share those feelings - either with a close friend, loved one or helpline like Childline.

Unfortunately, suicidal thoughts can impair a person’s judgement leaving them feeling like they have no one to turn or talk to and ultimately, their friends and loved ones don’t find out until it’s too late.

Nobody wants to think about someone they love feeling like they don’t want to live anymore but if you’re concerned, it’s important to reach out to that person. 

Here are some of the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide: 

  • Withdrawal from family and social life

  • Talking or writing about dying or that they want to die

  • Saying they feel like a burden or that ‘everything is hopeless’ and ‘nothing is going to change’

  • Extreme mood swings

     

  • Wild or reckless behaviour

     

  • Increased alcohol and drug use

     

  • Uncharacteristic aggression

     

  • Giving away precious possessions

     

  • Collecting or saving medication and pills

     

  • Making amends or saying goodbye to friends and family

Suicidal behaviors are a psychiatric emergency. If you or a loved one starts to take any of these steps, seek immediate help from a health care provider or call 112 or 999.

If you are wondering who might be more at risk of committing suicide, there are certain internal and external factors that can contribute to the situation. These include but are not limited to:

  • A recent loss or tragedy

     

  • A family history of suicide

     

  • Substance use: Drugs can create mental highs and lows that worsen suicidal thoughts

     

  • Alcohol abuse

     

  • A history of trauma or sexual abuse

     

  • A serious or chronic medical illness

     

  • Gender: Research shows that men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or you are worried about someone in your life who may be experiencing them, Childline is always here for you. Click the Live Message button at the side of the screen to chat with a volunteer online, free text 50101 or call 1800 66 66 66.

You can find out more about National Office of Suicide Prevention here.

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