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What to do if someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide

Resources and guidance

Patient speaking with care provider

Are you in crisis?

Are you or someone you love having thoughts of suicide?  If at immediate risk, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.  Or you can get support from the Canada Suicide Prevention Service by phone, text or chat:

  • Phone: toll free 1.833.456.4566 or the Gerstein Centre Crisis Line at 416.929.5200
  • Text: 45645
  • Chat:
  • For residents of Quebec, call 1 866 APPELLE

Warning signs of suicide

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

What to do if someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide

  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
  • Canada Suicide Prevention Service by phone, text or chat (see above)
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional

Other resources

  • The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention offers resources on suicide for survivors, those thinking about suicide, those who have been affected by someone who has attempted or died by suicide, and anyone who wants to help someone who has been affected in any way:
  • The Canadian Mental Health Commission offers tools, readings, information and contacts specifically linked to both suicide prevention and surviving a suicideand surviving a suicide loss
  • Distress and Crisis Centres can offer 24/7 support to those who are feeling suicidal. For a list of centres across Canada see
  • Listen to interview and/or read the book: Myths about Suicide by Thomas Joiner (2011)

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