Know The Signs

LOOK FOR THESE SIGNS IN YOUR LOVED ONE. IT MIGHT BE AN INDICATION THEY ARE THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE. KNOW THE SIGNS.

He may show any of these signs, in any combination. Is he...


Talking about suicide?

  • Has your loved one made comments about considering suicide or making a plan?
  • This can include subtle statements, such as “I wish I hadn’t been born”, “If I see you again”, “I’d be better off dead”, “Life isn’t worth living” or “I can’t take it anymore”.

Withdrawing from others?

  • Has he withdrawn from friends and family and others with whom he usually enjoys?
  • Has he become socially isolated?
  • Does he suddenly prefer to be left alone?

Losing interest in favorite activities?

  • Is he no longer interested or willing to participate in activities and hobbies that he used to enjoy?
  • Is he disinterested in activities?

Struggling with depression, addiction or another mental health concern?

  • Not everyone with a mental health concern will consider suicide, but it is a significant risk factor.
  • Mental health concerns such as depression, addiction, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may increase the risk of suicide.

Other Important Signs

Expressing a sudden sense of calm and happiness, or relief after being depressed

  • Has your loved one made comments about considering suicide or making a plan?
  • This can include subtle statements, such as “I wish I hadn’t been born”, “If I see you again”, “I’d be better off dead”, “Life isn’t worth living” or “I can’t take it anymore”.

Expressing feelings of hopelessness or helplessness

  • Is he expressing feelings of defeat?

Expressing feelings of disproportionate anger

  • Does he become irritable and enraged by issues that were not as important as before or is so angry that he “shuts down”?

Expressing feelings of self-loathing or self-hated

  • Is he expressing feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame and a sense of being a burden on those around him?

Getting his affairs/fiances in order and saying goodbye

  • Has he started making out a will, giving away prized possessions or making arrangements for family members?
  • Has he made unusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends?
  • Is he saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again?

Engaging in self-destructive behaviour

  • Has his intake of alcohol or drug use increased?
  • Has he become more reckless while driving or engaging in other potentially life threatening activities?
  • Are the risks he is taking extreme, as if he had a death wish?

Additional Resources

  • Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness. The CMHA accomplishes this mission through advocacy, education, research and service.
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Canada) (Canada) combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.
  • Man Therapy (US) is an interactive mental health website for working age men that employs humor to cut through stigma and tackle mental health issues. Man Therapy aims to provide men approaching crisis and their loved ones a place to go and learn more about men’s mental health, take a self-assessment and consider a wide array of actions that will put them on the path to treatment and recovery.
  • Injury Prevention Centre
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Edmonton Transit
  • The Support Network
  • Government of Alberta
  • University of Alberta