Signs of Suicide: 10 signs to look out for if someone is considering taking their own life
"The world as we know it has changed drastically this year..."
Pieta House has answered over 10,000 calls since the beginning of lockdown.
The suicide prevention charity has engaged with countless contacts to their 24 hour crisis helpline concerning suicide, self-harm and suicide bereavement over the past six months.
This World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10), the charity is encouraging people to become aware of the signs of suicide in their loved ones.
The new 'Signs of Suicide' drive will help people identify what signs to watch and listen out for if someone they know is considering taking their own life.
Signs to listen for:
- Talking or writing about hurting themselves, dying or saying that they want to die
- Talking about ways to die or having a suicide plan
- Saying that they are ‘trapped’ or have no options in their life
- Saying they have no purpose in their life, that they feel hopeless
Signs to watch out for:
- Engaging in self-harm or reckless, risk taking behaviour
- Giving items away or saying goodbye to people
- Becoming more inward looking and withdrawing from family and friends
- Changes in their sleep patterns – too much or too little sleep
- Extreme emotions or dramatic changes in mood
- Increasing their use of drugs or alcohol
Pieta’s Clinical Director, Dr. Samuel Gower, says that people need to be aware of what concerning signs to look out for - especially in the wake of lockdown and the prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The world as we know it has changed drastically this year, and now more than ever, it is important to look out for signs of suicide," he says.
"There are often times where families speak to us following suicide bereavement, wishing they had known what to look out for or what to say.
"It is so important for people to know these signs, and to never be afraid to reach out to a loved one and start the conversation if they think they are struggling with suicidal thoughts.”
Pieta is encouraging people to follow three steps if the signs of suicide are present: A.P.R. (Ask – Persuade – Refer).
"If someone opens up to you, don’t be afraid to Ask them directly if they are thinking of suicide or want to kill themselves," says the charity. "Talking to them openly and honestly is one of the best things you can do. Even just listening is one of the most powerful tools available to us.
"Once you have asked the question, calmly and gently Persuade them to seek help or to allow you to assist them in getting help. If you cannot persuade them, remember that Pieta’s 24/7 Crisis Helpline is open 24 hours day.
"As soon as you can, Refer or guide them to Pieta – if you can, make the call with them or travel with them to the appointment."
Just like CPR, says the charity, this can save a life.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article you can contact Pieta 24/7 via the freephone crisis helpline on 1800 247 247, or by texting HELP to 51444.