Preventing suicide: Warning signs and getting help

Thinking of suicide? There is help. Call 9-1-1 or get support from a local crisis centre

There is also the Kids Help Phone, the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line, 1 866 APPELLE (Quebec residents) and the Canada Suicide Prevention Service (1-833-456-4566), that all offer 24/7 support.

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:

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

Get help

If you need to talk and you:                                                                                                           

  • are not feeling yourself
  • are experiencing a crisis
  • have emotional pain
  • know someone who needs help

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention provides a list of crisis centres across Canada. Crisis centres are there for people who are reaching out for help.

Kids Help Phone, the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line and the Canada Suicide Prevention Service also offer 24/7 support.

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
    • counsellor
    • trusted person (neighbour, friend, family member or Elder)
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