Signals and risk factors
There are observable warning signs of a suicidal crisis needing immediate attention and other situations where help is needed.
Observable and strong signs of a suicidal crisis needing immediate attention
If someone is:
- threatening to hurt or kill themselves
- looking for the means (gun, pills, rope etc) to kill themselves
- talking or writing about death, dying or suicide.
Action: Call 000. Do not leave the person alone.
Indication of suicide where professional help is needed
Someone showing signs of :
- persistent crying
- loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities
- rage, anger, seeking revenge
- acting reckless/engaging in risky activities
- feeling trapped (like there is no way out)
- increasing alcohol or drug use
- withdrawing from friends, family or society
- anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep/sleeping all the time
- giving away possessions
- dramatic changes in mood, or
- no reason for living, no sense of purpose in life.
Action: Seek help for someone by contacting your GP or call Open Arms on 1800 011 046.
Risk factors for suicide
There is no typical profile for a person who might consider suicide. Most suicidal thoughts and behaviours occur as a result of a build up of a complex web of circumstances. However, there are a number of key factors we can be aware of and try to manage to reduce the risk of suicide, and protect those at risk.
Causal risk factorsCausal factors for suicide include different mental illnesses or symptoms of being mentally unwell.
Circumstantial risk factorsCircumstantial factors may not be significant, but when combined with causal factors they increase the potential risk of suicide.
Protective factorsThere are many factors in our lives that can help to protect us and others against suicide.