Recognizing the Warning Signs: Possible Indicators of Suicidal Behavior

Noah Warren
September 12, 2023

Being able to recognize the warning signs of suicidal behavior in someone can be a life-saving skill. In this blog post, we explore common signs and indicators that may suggest an individual is at risk of suicide. By understanding these signs, we can become better equipped to offer support and intervene when someone is in crisis.

Remember, reaching out to mental health professionals is crucial, and Roots Mental Wellness offers free consultations for those in need. In emergencies, individuals can call or text 988 to access immediate assistance.

suicidal behavior

Verbal Clues

Pay attention to verbal cues that may indicate suicidal thoughts. Statements such as "I can't go on," "I wish I were dead," or "Everyone would be better off without me" should never be dismissed lightly. These expressions of hopelessness and a desire to escape can be alarming signs of deep distress.

Changes in Behavior and Mood

Significant shifts in an individual's behavior and mood can be indicative of underlying suicidal ideation. These changes may include withdrawal from social activities, loss of interest in previously enjoyed hobbies or relationships, increased irritability or aggression, or a sudden decline in academic or occupational performance. It's important to remember that each person's responses can vary, so observing deviations from their baseline is crucial.

Expressions of Hopelessness and Despair

Feelings of hopelessness and a pervasive sense that things will never improve are common among individuals considering suicide. They may discuss a belief that their current situation is permanent and insurmountable, expressing little or no optimism for the future.

Drastic Changes in Sleep and Appetite

Disruptions in sleep patterns, such as insomnia or excessive sleeping, along with notable changes in appetite and weight loss or gain, can be signs of emotional distress and a potential risk for suicide. These shifts in basic self-care may be indicative of an individual's inner struggles.

Giving Away Possessions

Some individuals who contemplate suicide exhibit behavior such as giving away cherished possessions or making concrete plans for the future, which suggest they do not anticipate being around much longer. Statements like "I won't be needing this" or sudden disinterest in personal belongings should be taken seriously.

Increased Substance Abuse

Individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts may turn to substance abuse as a way to cope with their pain. Escalating or excessive use of drugs or alcohol, particularly when coupled with other warning signs, may be an indication of a deeper underlying crisis.


Recognizing the signs of suicidal behavior involves active attentiveness and empathy. By being vigilant and informed, we can potentially intervene and offer support to those in need. It is important to remember that professional help is essential in these circumstances, and Roots Mental Wellness provides free consultations to individuals seeking support.

In emergencies, it is crucial to reach out to immediate assistance, and individuals can call or text 988 to access crisis support from trained professionals. Together, let us strive to create a society where compassion and understanding prevail, ensuring that no one has to face their darkest moments alone.

Noah Warren
Director of Business Development