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Some people feeling distressed may hide their pain, but there are clues to how they are truly feeling. If we are able to recognise these clues, we can look out for the people around us.

Verbal warnings signs or threats

  • Expressions such as "Life is too painful for me."
  • Bidding farewell – e.g. "Take care when I'm gone."
  • Threats such as "If you don't love me, I will kill myself."

Pre-suicide planning

  • Tidying up one's affairs
  • Giving away treasured things and saying goodbye
  • Writing suicide notes, emails or blogs
  • Checking out methods of dying

Emotional or behavioural changes

  • Dramatic changes in mood
  • Intense feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Intense rage or anger 
  • Feeling psychologically and emotionally trapped – like there is no way out
  • Deep anxiety and agitation
  • Unusual behavioural changes
  • Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities
  • Increasing or abusive consumption of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from family, friends or society
  • Unusual sleeping patterns
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