Signs your child might be experiencing suicidal thoughts

Thoughts and Feelings 

Verbally telling you they are “not good enough for anything or anyone”​, “There’s no way out of this”​ and “I am just a burden”​.Expressing feelings of hopelessness​, feeling alone, anxious and wanting to give up.

Behaviours 

Withdrawn, loss of interest in activities​, risky or reckless behaviour​, going out alone or at unusual times, threatening to, or talking about wanting to kill or hurt themselves​, suddenly in a very positive mood​, not retaining information as if things wash over them​, self-harming​, going to bed early or not sleeping​, any behaviour that is unusual or out of character​.

Physical symptoms

Appearance – not bothering ​with their appearance, a decline in their hygiene, a loss or gain of weight, looking tired or pale​, evidence of injuries from self-harm​, feeling unwell​, hiding themselves away with clothes or hair​, masking how they feel by dressing up with immaculate makeup​.


How can you support your child/young person experiencing suicidal thoughts?

Are you afraid to ask the question?​

The myth: “Will I be putting that idea into their heads?”, ​

The answer: NO ​

People who are experiencing suicidal thoughts will have thought about this for a long time. Asking open-ended questions will help someone to talk through their problems instead of saying yes or no​.

Young people have also told us:​ “Are you wanting to kill yourself?” (say it how it is)​

When you are talking to a young person about suicide, it’s important to instil a sense of hope and help them to see that there are alternatives to ending their life. ​