Warning Signs + Risk Factors2018-09-02T19:58:21+00:00


Warning Signs + Risk Factors

People considering suicide may show warning signs or hints they are having these thoughts. If someone you know is considering suicide, you may notice:

They might be feeling:

Low self-esteem
Poor outlook on future
Lack of emotion

You might spot sudden change in their behaviour patterns like:

Sleeping and eating
Appearance, personal hygiene and self-care
Academic performance
Change in mood
Loss of interest in activities usually enjoyed
Giving away possessions
Increased risk-taking behaviours
Thinking or talking a lot about death
Writing or drawing about suicide
Increase use of drugs or alcohol
Making a plan for suicide

In a private or group conversation, a text, a Facebook status, a Tweet, or any other type of
communication, they might say something like:

What’s the point?
I am going to go away
No one cares if I live or die
Life sucks and isn’t worth it
I shouldn’t have been born
I wish I were dead
I am going to end it all
All of my problems will soon end

Risk Factors Include:
There are experiences in life that may cause us to feel emotional or physical pain. Sometimes, if this problem or situation feels too big to handle, a person might think suicide is the only way out.

Some reasons someone might consider suicide are:

  • A previous suicide attempt
  • Family history of suicidal behaviour
  • A serious physical or mental illness
  • Problems with drugs or alcohol
  • A major loss, such as the death of a loved one, losing a job or divorce
  • Major life changes or transitions, like those experienced by teens and seniors
  • Feeling alone
  • Family violence

If someone is experiencing challenges or is struggling in their life, it does not necessarily mean they are having thoughts of suicide. If you are unsure, you can start by sitting down with your friend, explaining why you are concerned, and asking directly “are you having thoughts of suicide?” and listening to their response. Tell an adult you trust right away.


CMHA Main Office
#105, 1040 – 7 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2P 3G9

Tel: 403-297-1700
Fax: 403-270-3066
Email: education@cmha.calgary.ab.ca

Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

NOTE: The Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region does not provide crisis services. If you are in immediate need of assistance contact the Distress Centre’s 24-hour Crisis Line at 403 266 HELP (4357).

CMHA Calgary and Recovery College