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Suicide and Suicide Awareness

Family Centre > Suicide and Suicide Awareness

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU ARE HAVING THOUGHTS ABOUT HARMING YOURSELF, OR IF YOU INTEND TO HARM YOURSELF IN ANY WAY, PLEASE STOP READING THIS AND IMMEDIATELY CALL THE DISTRESS LINE (403-327-7905) OR GO TO THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION AND ASSISTANCE. THIS IS NOT INTENDED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT IN THE CASE OF SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.

WHAT IS SUICIDE?

Suicide is an intentional act, where the goal is to end one’s own life. It is an act done out of despair and hopelessness. Stress factors (like financial and relationship problems) and drug/alcohol use can also play a role.

WARNING SIGNS

You may notice the following:

  • Feelings or expressions of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Depression, often for a lengthy period
  • Suddenly feeling better and seeming happier (this can indicate a decision to die by suicide)
  • Giving away personal items, especially prized possessions
  • Direct or indirect talk about dying by suicide. This could include phrases such as, “The world would be better off without me” and “I have nothing left to live for” as well as more direct talk, like “I don’t want to live any longer” and “I just want to die.”
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Reduced interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Neglecting self-care and basic hygiene
  • Increased agitation or reckless behaviour
  • Reconnecting with people (to say goodbye)

Hopelessness is perhaps the biggest indicator of suicide risk. When someone has lost hope, they will have a more difficult time identifying and accessing resources, and may not be able to see any other alternatives to reducing their pain.