Warning Signs of Suicide in Adults
British Columbia Specific Information
Emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health are available from Mental Health Support offered by the Crisis Lines Association of British Columbia by calling 310-6789. You may also visit BC Mental Health & Addiction Services or HereToHelp for additional resources and services. Children and teens can also call the Kids Help Phone to speak to a counsellor at 1-800-668-6868 or visit Kids Help Phone for information on the resources and support available.
Suicide assessment and intervention are available from Crisis Lines across British Columbia by calling the Crisis Line Association of British Columbia at 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE). For more places to get help, visit Crisis Centre – Get Help. If you are in an emergency, call 9-1-1.
The following warning signs may be present in adults who have a high risk for suicide:
- Depression or other mental health condition, such as severe anxiety, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), or schizophrenia
- Depression followed by sudden cheerfulness and contentment, which may mean the person has made a decision to finalize a suicide plan
- A previous suicide attempt
- Alcohol or substance use
- Preoccupation with death in conversations
- Giving away personal possessions
Factors that may increase the risk of suicide include having:
- A family member who has died by suicide.
- A family history of depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
- A history of physical or sexual abuse.
- Diagnosis of a serious medical illness.
- Failing relationships.
- A divorce.
- A recent life change, such as a death of a spouse or other member of the family, marriage, break-up of a marriage, the birth of a child, a job loss, a job promotion or demotion, or legal problems.
Drug Advisory. The Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) of Health Canada has issued:
- An advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of suicide. The HPFB does not recommend that people stop using these medicines, but to watch for warning signs of suicide in those using them. This is especially important at the beginning of treatment or when doses are changed.
Take any mention of suicide seriously. If someone you know is threatening suicide, get help right away and learn more about Suicidal Thoughts or Threats.
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Current as ofNovember 20, 2015
Current as of: November 20, 2015
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