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Withdrawn, loss of interest in activities, risky or reckless behaviour, going out alone or at unusual times, threatening to, or talking about wanting to kill or hurt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. ​