People spotting signs of suicide

How to Spot the Signs of Suicide and Seeking Help

Having someone in your life that is suicidal can be stressful and traumatic. You may be worried about them experiencing suicidal thoughts, or you may be trying to prevent them from suicide.

You may not know how to be there for them or how to get them help. Here’s how to spot the signs of suicide and what to do to seek help.

What Are the Signs of Suicide?

It can be challenging to know if someone is suicidal. Some people are good at hiding their feelings but want help. Knowing the right words and actions can help save their life.

There are many warning signs that you should look out for. Some red flags to look for include:

  • Words
    • Talking about wanting to die
    • Expressing guilt that is excessive compared to what they have done
    • Saying they are a burden to you or others
  • Expressing Feelings
    • Using words like helpless, hopeless, empty, or trapped to describe their feelings
    • Saying their emotional or physical pain is unbearable
    • Appearing extremely sad, angry, agitated, or anxious
  • Behaviors
    • Researching suicide methods
    • Making plans to commit suicide
    • Acquiring a gun, drugs, or other means to kill themselves
    • Isolating from friends and family
    • Telling people goodbye
    • Giving away once-beloved possessions
    • Exhibiting mood swings

What to Do When Someone is Suicidal

If someone has come to you for help, there are many things that you should do to help them. One of the best things to do is intently listen to them and validate their feelings. You shouldn’t say things like “I know just how you feel,” as it can sometimes make them feel like their experience isn’t valid.

Consider saying things such as:

  • I’m listening
  • I’m here for you
  • I don’t want you to die
  • Here are some resources to help

Together you can work through their feelings and get them the help they need. Going to a mental health treatment center can often be the help people who are suicidal need and allow them to recharge and identify why they are having these feelings.

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