Youth Mental Health Information Centre

Our Mental Health Information Centre brings together all our information, resources and downloads on mental health awareness and suicide prevention in one place.

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People who die by suicide are often having intense feelings of helplessness and hopelessness and may not see any other way out of their emotional pain. It is important to remember that most people who attempt suicide do not really want to die. They simply want to end the pain they are experiencing.
The suicide attempt is quite often a conscious or unconscious method for getting others to recognise just how badly the individual is feeling. Yes, suicide attempts are very often cries for help.
If someone in a family has completed suicide, other family members may be tempted because suicidal behaviour has been "modelled' for them. However, suicide behaviours are not inherited in families.
Anyone who attempts suicide in order to get attention desperately needs it. It is tragic when someone feels they need to bargain with their life in order to have their problems taken seriously. Any suicide attempt needs to be taken seriously.
One of the important warning signs for suicide is a prior attempt. Anyone who attempts suicide once is more likely to try suicide again than those who have never attempted. However, many people who receive licensed professional medical and behavioural health care following a suicide attempt may never become suicidal again.
Many people who attempt suicide are ambivalent about life. They want to live and die at the same time. But, as noted in number 1, it is not that the person really wants to die, but rather that death may seem like the only way to end the emotional pain the suicidal person may be feeling. It is the pain they want to end usually, not the life.
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