Warning Signs

Research suggests that 70 to 80% of suicidal people display warning signs that should be dealt with immediately.

Indicators strongly associated with suicide:

  • Talking about suicide, death or dying: saying things like "life isn’t worth it" or "things would be better if I was gone".
  • Making jokes, poems, drawings or other references to suicide, death or dying.
  • Sharing morbid fantasies about suicide, death or dying.
  • Previous or recent suicide attempt.
  • Preparation for death: giving away prized possessions, saying goodbye or talking about going away unexpectedly.

Some attitudes to look for:

  • Depression: Nothing seems important anymore. Life’s a bad joke.
  • Hopelessness/helplessness: There is nothing I can do to change this.
  • Purposelessness: There is nothing to live for; there is no point to anything.
  • Worthlessness: I can’t do anything right. No one cares if I live or die.
  • Overwhelmed: I can’t stand this anymore. This is way too much for me.
  • Intense worry/anxiety: Everything is falling apart. Everyone is going to be disappointed in me.
  • Recklessness/impulsiveness: I don’t care if I break my neck.
  • Elation: Everything is perfect now! (suddenly, after someone has been in a lot of distress)

Some behaviours to watch for:

  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol.
  • Withdrawal or isolation from once enjoyable people/activities.
  • Risky impulsive activities.
  • Aggressive, violent behaviour; rage/revengeful acts.
  • Decreased or increased performance (school, work, hobbies, sports).
  • Self-neglect (appearance or hygiene).
  • Low self-esteem, low self-worth, self-contempt, anger toward self.
  • Extreme mood swings.
  • Changes in energy level (up or down).
  • Complaints about health.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Decreased, increased or otherwise disturbed eating and/or sleeping.

Risk Factors

Youth are more likely to consider suicide if they have or are experiencing some of the following:

  • Previous suicide attempt.
  • Family History of suicidal behaviour.
  • Feelings of hopelessness or isolation.
  • Psychiatric disorders or mental illness.
  • Substance use or abuse.
  • Life stressors, such as interpersonal losses and legal or disciplinary problems.
  • Physical abuse.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Sexual orientation (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered).
  • Juvenile delinquency.
  • School or work problems.
  • Contagion or imitation (the suicide of a friend or exposure to media reports of suicide).
  • Chronic physical illness.
  • Living in isolation.
  • Access to more lethal means, such as firearms and medication.
  • Impulsive behaviours.
  • Homelessness.

Some youth in minority or marginalized groups have an increased risk of suicide.

You can find more risk factors on pages 8-10 of this guide: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/suicide_prevention/pdf/pys_practitioners_guide.pdf

Risk factors adapted from: ww3.suicideinfo.ca/Default.aspx?tabid=638.

An easy way to remember the key warning signs is through this: IS PATH WARM? It stands for:

  • Ideation
  • Substance abuse
  • Purposelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Trapped
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal
  • Anger
  • Recklessness
  • Mood changes

If you are having thoughts of suicide or of hurting yourself or others, please reach out immediately for help. Call 9-1-1 (or your local police or authority, if you do not have 9-1-1) or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.

If you are being bullied, feeling alone or just need to talk to someone who will listen, please reach out to a trained volunteer or professional:

Resources for Parents

Read More

Resources for Youth

Read More

A New Reporting Tool is Coming Soon

Reports are reviewed on regular school days. Schools are closed for Summer Break from June 30, 2018 – September 5, 2018. While your school is closed, if you or someone you know needs help right away, please call 911 (or your local police authority if you do not have 911).

If you want someone to talk to, then please call:

Les rapports sont consultés durant les journées normales du calendrier scolaire. Les écoles sont fermées durant les vacances d’été, du 30 juin au 5 septembre 2018. Si ton école est fermée et tu as besoin d’une aide immédiate, compose le 911 (ou contacte le service de police de ta région si le 911 n’est pas en service).

Si tu as besoin de parler à quelqu’un, contacte :


Thank you for stopping by to check out the ERASE Bullying online reporting tool. This tool is accessible through computers and smart phones, and will allow students, parents or other witnesses to report bullying or other threatening behaviour, anytime and anywhere.

The online reporting tool has just been developed and is in the final stages of testing.

If you need help, please reach out to someone you trust, like a parent, friend or teacher. Or, you can reach out to someone who doesn’t know you for support. There is a list of youth-oriented support lines and websites on this site just for you.