Suicide Warning Signs


Suicide warning signs are not always obvious. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings secret. That’s why it’s important to listen carefully and pay attention to what people say.


  • Talking or writing about suicide. Making statements such as, “I’m going to kill myself,” “I wish I was dead,” or “I am just so tired of life”.
  • Using strong words like “nothing”, “everything”, “always”, “never” more often.
  • Buying guns or knives, or stockpiling pills
  • Withdrawing from social contact
  • Severe mood swings
  • Thinking constantly about death, dying or violence
  • Depression or a sense of hopelessness
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Changing normal routine, including eating and sleeping patterns
  • Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly
  • Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order
  • Saying goodbye to people as if for the last time


  • Stress over school, relationships, expectations
  • Previous suicide attempts — almost half of teens who commit suicide had made previous attempts
  • Family history of abuse, suicide or violence
  • A recent loss such as a death, break-up or parents’ divorce
  • Being bullied or being a bully; Cyber bullying
  • An estimated 75% to 90% of adolescent suicide deaths are associated with mental illness
  • LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) are 4 times more likely to make a suicide attempt than their peers

Learn How to Help

What You Can Do >

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Suicide prevention resources
1-888-333-AFSP (2377)

Know the Signs
Learn the warning signs – Find the words – Reach out

safeTALK Suicide Alertness Classes
Free, 3-hour training sessions for schools
Click here to learn more.

Is anyone in immediate danger? 

Call 911 and ask for a CIT Officer.

Are you feeling suicidal or in despair?

Talk with someone local now:
VCBH Crisis & Referral Line
1-866-998-2243 •

Free • Confidential • 24/7

Or call the national support line:
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Call, text, or TTY: 988
Web Chat:
Free • Confidential • 24/7

See 988 FAQs >
See Crisis Line Comparison Chart >

Want to connect via WhatsApp?

Crisis Text Line
Connect with a volunteer Crisis Counselor
Chat via WhatsApp

or text HOME to 741741

Free • 24/7

For Veterans

Veterans Crisis Line
Call 988 and press 1
Free • Confidential • 24/7

More resources for Military and Veterans >

For Teens & Young Adults

Teen Line
Teen-to-teen education and support
Text TEEN to 839863 between 6:00pm–9:00pm PST
Or call 800‑TLC‑TEEN from 6pm to 10pm PST

More resources for Teens & Young Adults >

For LGBTQ+ Young People

The Trevor Project Lifeline
Crisis intervention and suicide prevention
Call 1-866-488-7386
text START to 678-678
or web chat:
Free • 24/7 • Confidential

More resources for LGBTQ+ Teens >

More Support & Resources

For Everyone

For emotional support when it's not a crisis:
Mental Health Warm Line 24/7
Web chat:

For help with addiction:
Substance Use Treatment Services
Free • Confidential • 24/7

See more local resources >

For Teens

California Youth Crisis Line
Help with issues including medical care, dating violence, sexual assault, runaway resources and homelessness, available 24/7

More resources for teens >

For Older Adults

Senior Support Line
Feeling lonely or isolated?
Call 1-800-235-9980

More resources for older adults >


Diversity Collective
Support for LGBTQ+
Countywide • all ages

More LGBTQ+ resources >

For First Responders

Law enforcement COPLINE

NVFC First Responder Helpline
Fire, EMS, and other rescue workers