Warning Signs of Suicide

People who are considering suicide may show signs that they are thinking about or planning to attempt suicide. These are known as warning signs of suicide. This page can help you recognize common warning signs that may indicate a person is at risk of suicide and help you identify when to seek professional help.

Common Warning Signs

Talking about:

  • Feeling unbearable pain
  • Death or a recent fascination with death
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless, or trapped
  • Feeling guilt, shame, or anger
  • Feeling like they are a burden to others

Changes in behavior or mood:

  • Recent suicide attempt
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Losing interest in personal appearance or hygiene
  • Withdrawing from family, friends, or community
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • A recent episode of depression, emotional distress, and/or anxiety
  • Changes in eating and/or sleeping patterns
  • Becoming violent or being a victim of violence
  • Expressing rage
  • Recklessness

When to Seek Professional Help Immediately

Some behaviors may indicate an emergency is happening or that a person is in crisis. If you observe the following behaviors, you should immediately connect the person with professional help, such as the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, emergency medical services, or a mental health professional.

  • Talking about immediate harm to oneself or others
  • Planning to attempt suicide (for example, searching online for information about how to attempt suicide)
  • Acting in such an erratic manner that you are concerned about their safety

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Call or text 988 or visit https://988lifeline.org/

The Lifeline is a 24-hour toll-free phone line for people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

An online chat option is also available.