Module 3: Identifying warning signs and risk factors

What are Warning signs?

Sometimes it is hard to know if a person is thinking about suicide. But it is believed that there are some warning signs you can look for that may help in identifying people at risk for suicide. People may be more likely to attempt suicide if they:

  • Talking about suicide frequently
  • If they say that they have no hope, or they feel trapped
  • Buying poison, a large dose of medicines, or take other action to prepare for a suicide attempt
  • Starts to drink more alcohol or use drugs, including prescription medicines
  • Give away their things to others and/or hurry to complete a will
  • Making suicide threats – “Sometimes I feel like I just want to die”

What are Risk Factors?

Risk factors are those that increase the chances of suicide in an individual.

  • Any family member who attempted/ committed suicide
  • Having a Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Consumption of alcohol or other substances
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Impulsive behaviour without thinking about consequences.
  • Sometimes Cultural and religious beliefs that suicide is noble resolution
  • Feeling lonely, that there is no one in life
  • Stress like relationship problems, financial and family problems

Protective factors for suicide

  • Having a good support from family, friends, colleagues, etc.
  • Easy local availability of help providing hospitals.
  • Support from counsellors and doctors.
  • Ability to resolve problems, difficulties in relationships.
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide

The following presentation is about terminologies , warning signs and risk factors of suicide

This video is an illustration of how to elicit various risk factors of suicide by a gatekeeper