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Tuesday, 13 November 2012 12:48

How to detect Suicidal behaviour

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Most suicidal young people don't really want to die but they do want their pain to end. In around 80% of cases people who kill themselves have given definite signals or talked about suicide. The key to prevention is to know these signs and what to do to help.

Watch for these signs. They may indicate someone is thinking about suicide. The more signs you see, the greater the risk.

  • A previous suicide attempt
  • Current talk of suicide or making a plan
  • Strong wish to die or a preoccupation with death
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Signs of depression, such as moodiness, hopelessness, withdrawal
  • Increased alcohol and/or other drug use
  • Hinting at not being around in the future or saying good-bye

These warning signs become more notable if there has been:

  • a recent death or suicide of a friend or family member
  • a recent break-up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or conflict with parents
  • news reports of other suicides by young people in the same school or local area

Other key risk factors include: 

  •  Readily accessible means such as prescription medication, alcohol or street drugs
  • Impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
  • Lack of connection to family and friends (no one to talk to)

What to do if you see the warning signs?
If a friend mentions suicide, take it seriously. If he or she has expressed an immediate plan, or has access to medication or other potentially deadly means, do not leave him or her alone. Get help immediately.

These steps can be effective:

  • Watching
  • Showing
  • Asking
  • Helping
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Warning Signs

Warning signs may include but are not limited to:
Withdrawing from family and friends
Having difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly
Sleeping too much or too little
Feeling tired most of the time
Gaining or losing a significant amount of weight
Talking about feeling hopeless or guilty
Talking about suicide or death
Self-destructive behaviour like drinking too much or abusing drugs
Losing interest in favourite things or activities
Giving away prized possessions
Mood swings
IMPORTANT
If a friend mentions suicide, take it seriously. If they have expressed an immediate plan, or have access to prescription medication or other potentially deadly means, do not leave them alone. Get help immediately.

Helplines

The Samaritans116 123
Pieta House1800 247 247
Aware1890 30 33 02
ISPCC Childline1800 66 66 66
Teen-Line Ireland1800 83 36 34

Contact Us

Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland (RCN20070670)
59 High Street
Killarney
Co Kerry V93 N977
Tel 021 - 242 7173
Email admin@yspi.eu