Suicide is rarely a spur of the moment decision. In the days and hours before people kill themselves, there are usually clues and warning signs.
The strongest and most disturbing signs are verbal “ I can’t go on,” “ Nothing matters any more” or even “ I’m thinking of ending it all”. Such remarks should be taken seriously.
Other common warning signs include
– Becoming depressed or withdrawn
– Behaving recklessly
– Getting affairs in order and giving away valued possessions
– Showing a marked change in behaviour, attitudes or appearance
– Abusing drugs or alcohol
– Suffering a major loss or life change
The following list gives more examples, all of which can be signs that somebody is contemplating suicide. Of course, in most cases these situations do not lead to suicide. But, generally, the more signs a person displays, the higher risk of suicide.
– Family history of suicide or violence
– Sexual or physical abuse
– Death of a close friend or family member
– Divorce or separation, ending relationship
– Failing academic performance, impending exams, exam results
– Job loss, problems at work
– Breaking the law
– Writing about death and suicide
– Previous suicidal behaviour
– Extremes in behaviour
– Changes in behaviour
– Lack of energy
– Disturbed sleep patterns
– Loss of appetite
– Sudden weight gain or loss
– Increase in minor illnesses
– Change in sexual interest
– Sudden change in appearance
– Lack of interest in appearance
– Thoughts of suicide
– Loneliness – lack of support from family or friends
– Deep sadness or guilt
– Unable to see beyond a narrow focus
– Anxiety and stress
– Loss of self worth
Be quiet and listen!
If someone is feeling depressed or suicidal, our first response is to try to help. We offer advice, share our own experiences, and try to find solutions.
We’d do better to be quite and to listen. People who feel suicidal don’t want answers or solutions. They want a safe place to express their fears and anxieties, to be themselves.
Listening- really listening is not easy. We must control the urge to say something to make comment, add to a story or offer advice. We need to listen not just to the facts that the person is telling us but also to the feelings that lie behind them. We need to understand things from their perspective, not ours.
– Someone to listen. Someone who will take time to really listen to them. Someone who will not judge or give advice or opinions, but will give their undivided attention
– Someone to trust. Someone who will respect them and won’t try to take charge. Someone who will treat everything with complete confidence.
– Someone to care. Someone who will make him or herself available put the person at ease and speak calmly. Someone who will re assure, accept and believe. Someone who will say, “ I care”.
TO BE ALONE. Rejection can make the problem seem ten times worse. Having someone to turn to makes all the difference. Just listen.
TO BE ADVISED. Lectures don’t help. Nor does the suggestion to “ cheer up”, or an easy assurance that everything will be ok. “Don’t analyse, compare, categorize or criticize. Just listen
TO BE INTEROGATED. Don’t change the subject, don’t pity or patronize. Talking about feelings is difficult. People who feel suicidal don’t want to be rushed or put on the defensive. Just listen.
Tel: 116 123
Confidential help/counselling over the telephone
CRUSE BEREAVEMENT CARE
Tel: 084477 9400/0161 236 81034
Young Person Helpline
free phone 0808-808-1677
Confidential help and support for the bereaved
Free phone 0808 800 1234
Information, practical advice and emotional support
Have a social work team who will offer support and advice
Free phone 0800-435-455
6pm –10pm daily
SUPPORTING BEREAVED PARENTS & THEIR FAMILIES
0845 123 2304
10AM – 6PM & 7PM – 10PM
Council – www.hullcc.gov.uk/contact-us 01482 300300
Coroners – www.humberside.co.uk/coronorsoffice 01482 613009
Cruse – www.crusehumberside.org.uk/
Council – www.luton.gov.uk-contact-us-lutonbc 01582 546000
Coroners – www.galaxy.bedford.gov.uk 0300 300 6557/6558
Cruse – www.crusebedfordshire.org.uk/
Council – www.wigan.gov.uk/contactus 01942 244991
Coroners – www.wigan.gov.uk/deathandbereavement 9942 705000
Cruse – www.cruselancashire.org.uk