Early Detection & Prevention

If you or someone you know has more than one of the suicide warning signs below, immediate action is required. Use our hotline service and take action now.


Suicide Warning Signals

The reasons why people want to commit suicide are very complex. Someone who thinks of suicide often gives clues and signs to those around them, even if they are not always immediately recognizable as such. To prevent suicide, warning signals must be recognized and triggers must be taken seriously.

The following list includes signs that people could give when they feel desperate or overwhelmed. These physical changes and behaviours suggest that a person might think about suicide. It is likely that a person at risk of suicide will set several signs and not just one or two. However, everyone is different and there is no general prediction of how someone acts.

Physical Changes

  • Big changes in sleeping behavior
  • Usually too little sleep or vice versa
  • Energy loss
  • Loss of interest in personal hygiene and in one’s own appearance
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Increased minor illnesses


  • Increased alcohol or drug use OR up to alcohol or drug abuse
  • Withdrawal from the family and friends
  • Giving up activities that were once important
  • Past suicidal behavior
  • Self-harm
  • Regulation of your own personal affairs (e.g. writing a will, giving away things)
  • Writing a farewell letter to loved ones
  • Uncharacteristic willingness to take risks and recklessness
  • Inexplicable crying
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Increased irritability

Verbal Signs

  • Feeling of hopelessness: “I see no way out.”
  • Feeling like a burden for others: “The others would be better off without me.”
  • Lack of belonging: “I don’t fit anywhere.”
  • Hopelessness: “It will never get better.”
  • Helplessness: “Nothing I do changes anything, I am passed out and nobody can help me.”
  • Talks about suicide and death
  • Planning the suicide or giving precise ideas about how to commit suicide
  • Feelings of guilt: “It is my fault.”
  • Excuse me: “I just can’t take it anymore.”
  • Loneliness: “I’m all alone … I don’t care about everyone.”
  • Damage: “I am a wreck … I will never be the same person again.”