Understanding suicide

Suicide is a major cause of death in Australia. It is a result of a range of complex issues, which include personal, emotional, social and medical issues. Suicide is a tragic loss of life that causes great sadness and emotional upheaval among family, friends and peers as they struggle to understand why.

Getting support and information is crucial, particularly if you or someone you care about is at risk of harm.

Common warning signs

There are some common warning signs that a person who is contemplating suicide might show, including:

  • overwhelming emotional pain: feelings that seem impossible to deal with
  • hopelessness: the feeling that things will never get better
  • powerlessness: the feeling that the emotional pain will not stop or go away
  • feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, self-hatred, or "no one cares"
  • sudden shifts and changes in behaviour: more sad or withdrawn, increased tiredness or angry outbursts
  • fear of losing control, harming yourself or others

It is important to remember that it is normal for people to occasionally experience some of these symptoms. However, if the problems are getting in the way of living life, or last for a prolonged time, it is important to talk to someone.

Usually when someone is considering hurting themselves, they might think that suicide is a solution to their problems and pain. If you are someone who is thinking of suicide, or you know someone who is thinking of suicide, help is available.

24 Hour Emergency Services

Health Direct Australia

1800 022 222

Mental Health Emergency Response Line (MHERL)

1300 555 788 Metro

1800 676 822 Peel

Rural Link

1800 552 002


Mental Health Week