Preventing suicide: Warning signs and how to help
Help is available for suicide crisis and prevention.
Get support from a local crisis centre. There is also the Canada Suicide Prevention Service (1-833-456-4566), Kids Help Phone, the Hope for Wellness Help Line, and 1 866 APPELLE (Quebec residents), that all offer 24/7 support.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.
It's important to get help if you or someone you know is going through a crisis or thinking about suicide. You're not alone. Learn about the resources available to you.
On this page
Warning signs of suicide
Warning signs that might suggest someone is at risk of suicide include:
- thinking or talking about suicide
- having a plan for suicide
Other signs and behaviours that might suggest that someone is at risk of suicide include:
- withdrawal from family, friends or activities
- feeling like you have no purpose in life or reason for living
- increasing substance use, like drugs, alcohol and inhalants
- feeling trapped or that there's no other way out of a situation
- feeling hopeless about the future or feeling like life will never get better
- talking about being a burden to someone or about being in unbearable pain
- anxiety or significant mood changes, such as anger, sadness or helplessness
If you need to talk and you:
- are not feeling yourself
- are experiencing a crisis
- have emotional pain
- know someone who needs help
Crisis Services Canada
Available to all Canadians seeking support. Visit Crisis Services Canada for the distress centres and crisis organizations nearest you.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566 (24/7) or text 45645 (4 PM - 12 AM ET).
Kids Help Phone
Call 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT to 686868.
Available 24 hours a day to Canadians aged 5 to 29 who want confidential and anonymous care from professional counsellors.
Hope for Wellness Help Line
Call 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free) or connect to the online Hope for Wellness chat.
Available to all Indigenous peoples across Canada who need immediate crisis intervention. Experienced and culturally sensitive help line counsellors can help if you want to talk or are distressed.
Telephone and online counselling are available in English and French. On request, telephone counselling is also available in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.
How to help someone in crisis
Talking honestly, responsibly and safely about suicide can help you determine if someone needs help. If you want to help someone in crisis, try:
- listening and showing concern
- showing concern can be an immediate way to help someone
- listening won't increase the risk of suicide and it may save a life
- talking with them and reassuring them that they're not alone
- letting them know you care
- connecting them with a:
- crisis line
- trusted person (neighbour, friend, family member or Elder)
- Mental health support: Get help
- Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
- For Veterans: Talk to a Professional Now
- Mental health services available to RCMP employees
- Mental health resources for Canadian Armed Forces members and families
- Mental health and wellness for First Nations and Inuit
- Culture for Life
- We Matter
- The Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention-Progress Report 2018
- Working Together to Prevent Suicide in Canada: the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention
- Overview of Federal Initiatives in Suicide Prevention
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: