Government of New Brunswick
23-00931 - Health - Website headers - AMH helpline - suicide & addiction

Risk Factors for Suicide

Warning Signs

A person in acute risk for suicidal behavior most often will show:

  • Threatening to hurt or end their life, or talking of wanting to hurt or to end their life; and/ or,
  • Looking for ways to end their life by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means; and/or,
  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary.

If you notice these warning signs, seek professional help as soon as possible by contacting your local community mental health center or in the case of emergency call 9-1-1.

Expanded Warning Signs

  • Increased substance (alcohol or drug) use
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all of the time
  • Feeling trapped - like there's no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and society
  • Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes

Giving away prized possessions


Risk Factors

Having more warning signs

Having more than one of these warning signs have been associated with greater risk of suicidal behavior.

  • Seek immediate help if your loved one or friend has critical warning signs like talking about ending their life or dying or looking for ways to end their life.


Losses and other events-whether anticipated or actual- can lead to feelings of shame, humiliation, or despair and may serve as a triggering event for suicidal behavior.

  • Losses may include: a relationship break-up, death of someone close, school difficulty, legal problems, bullying, health problems, financial difficulty or job loss. People who are already vulnerable because of a mental health problem may be at increased risk.

Previous suicide attempts

Those with a history of a past suicide attempt are at increased risk for another attempt or suicide. If you know of a previous attempt, pay attention to warning signs.

  • Remember: It is ok to express concern and to ask ‘are you having thoughts of suicide or self- harm”.  Listen carefully and seek professional help as soon as possible. Although you cannot take responsibility for another person’s life, you can assist them to get help.

Need Help

Contact 24 hour emergency numbers:



How You Can Help

The following is information on training and tips for the general public on how you can help to address suicide prevention: