Suicide Warning Signs: Here's Where to Start

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In 2016, transport accidents in Singapore claimed 164 lives. In the same year, 429 lives were lost to suicide – the highest figure since 2012. Over the last five years, there have been 2.4 times as many suicides as transport accident deaths.      

While looking out for road traffic signs can help avert instances of transport accidents, suicide warning signs can likewise be useful in preventing suicide. 

A difference is that suicide warning signs may not always be as apparent.  

Beyond wondering if someone may be showing signs of suicide, it can be helpful to first ask ourselves this simple question: 

“What is he or she going through right now?”

Sometimes, all we need is someone to be there for us.

It may be a relationship gone sour, stress from the coming final exams, or even a transition time between jobs. 

Knowing what someone is currently going through in life can hint at whether they are facing a crisis. The state and situation of a person at that point in time serves as an highly valuable indicator of their well-being.

By paying close attention to their current physical, emotional, and mental state, you may start to notice warning signs that they might be at risk of suicide. The more you interact with them and the longer the crisis they are going through lasts, the greater chances that you may spot some of the signs below. 


  • ‍Expressions of being a burden to others: “My family will be better off without me” 
  • Expressions of feeling trapped/unbearable pain: “There’s no point to my life anymore” 
  • Suicide threats: “If you don’t love me anymore, I will kill myself”


  • Giving away treasured possessions and saying goodbye 
  • Researching suicide methods 
  • Writing suicide notes (including emails/diaries/blogs)


  • Extreme emotional outbursts (anger, sadness, irritability, recklessness)
  • Loss of interest
  • Humiliation or anxiety

Family and friends are in the best position to look out for warning signs in those they love. The fact that you may not spot them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. 

Know someone else who is in more frequent contact with the person you’re worried about? Let them know you’re concerned and ask them if they’re concerned too. Together, we can reach out to those in crisis and help them seek the support they need.