Ask about suicide: Know the signs

11 Sep 2012

If you suspect someone is thinking about suicide, the very best thing you can do is ask them, straight out.

That’s the advice being provided by Lifeline today following a program on Four Corners last night about youth suicide.

“The devastation of losing a young person and the heart wrenching ripple effect that affects an entire community, can be avoided if we know the signs of suicide and are simply brave enough to ask,” Lifeline’s National Patron John Brodgen said this morning.

“Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people in Australia. But it’s also a cause of death that is mostly preventable.”

Lifeline is encouraging everyone in the community to become part of the solution and learn the signs of suicide. Some of the signs that someone may be thinking about suicide could be:
• Withdrawing from friends and family;
• Giving away possessions;
• Saying goodbye;
• Talking about ‘ending it’, or about despair or about overwhelming circumstances, including on social media;
• Previous suicide attempts;
• Uncharacteristic behaviour, such as no longer enjoying an activity they used to love; or
• Mood swings, loss of appetite or heavy prolonged drug or alcohol use.

“These could be some of the signs, but are not the only signs, as suicide is extremely complex. However, most people that are experiencing thoughts of suicide want to talk about it.”

“So it is as simple as asking your child, friend or colleagues ‘are you thinking about killing yourself’? If they say yes, then take it seriously, and help them find help as quick as you can,” Mr Brogden said.

“Lifeline is one place you can get help, as are GPs, a counsellor or services like KidsHelpLine on 1800 55 1800. There are lots of ways you can help them stay safe and alive. I know, I’ve been there.”

Lifeline’s website has information which everyone can use to help them recognise the signs of suicide and help prevent the loss of a relative, friend, colleague or even a complete stranger.

Please visit

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Media Contact
Grahame Gould
Phone: 0409 912 391