Suicide is the voluntary act of taking one’s own life.
Suicidal thoughts are the warning bells that precede suicide. They indicate that an intense suffering has become too much to handle.
Every day in Quebec, approximately 3 people take their own lives and 8 people are hospitalised after attempting suicide.
Suicide is never an option; there are always solutions. Everyone can help prevent suicide.
Suicide is never the result of a single factor or event.
It is the accumulation and interaction of several factors at a particular moment of a person’s life that may lead to distress, despair and suicidal thoughts. In such a predicament, the person may then feel death is a solution to their despair.
Factors that come into play are different for each person. These factors can be related to:
Some people can start to think of committing suicide due to certain factors that render them vulnerable. Such people may include:
You must be vigilant. People thinking of suicide generally give signs of distress or clues of their intentions that can alert relatives, friends or parents.
These signs come in the shape of words, conduct, emotions or cognitive clues.
A person with suicidal thoughts may use certain words that are telling:
Certain conduct can indicate that a person has intention of committing suicide. For example, they may do the following:
Certain emotions and changes in mental function can be observed in someone with suicidal thoughts. This person may appear:
The person may also:
You must be careful if the person’s mood suddenly improves. Such change may be misleading as it may mean that the person has planned their suicide. They are not actually doing better, but in their view, they believe that their suffering will soon end, or that they will stop making others suffer.
Having suicidal thoughts is not an illness, but rather a symptom indicating that something is not going well. Suicidal thoughts are often linked to psychological problems, particularly depression and dependence problems.
There are treatments available for these problems.
Depression affects about ¾ of people who commit suicide. Effective treatments to counter depression are available. The earlier the people affected seek assistance, the higher the chances for these treatments to work. To learn more, see the Information on Depression page.
Behavioural dependence on alcohol, drugs and gambling favour the emergence of suicidal thoughts. Resources specialised in the field of dependence offer proven treatments. These treatments help people to reduce and to control their conduct of dependency. To learn more, see the Information on Dependence page.
Should you or a loved one be in distress, do not remain alone. Suicide is never a solution. You must talk about it in order to prevent it. Confiding in someone is the best way to help yourself or a loved one.
Here a few advice:
Should you harbour suicidal thoughts, it means your suffering is taking the better of you. It is a warning bell. You must take it seriously.
You may begin by changing certain habits in your life. Making changes helps eliminate things that increase and uphold your suicidal thoughts.
Having good lifestyle habits allows you to feel better and thereby be better equipped to handle your hardships. Here are a few good habits to take:
To learn more about good habits to take, visit the website on healthy lifestyle (Available in French only) .
Do not wait until you are unable to conduct your regular activities before seeking medical help. See a health professional as soon as possible:
A health professional will assess whether you are suffering from depression or another health problem. They will propose a treatment plan adapted to your needs.
To know which resources are at your disposal, see Assistance and Resources.
Call 1 866 277 3553. There are people to help and give you support. Do not stay alone. You are not alone to fight. There is always hope.
“For one year, I disconnected, I stopped living. I was no longer present, I thought increasingly of death, until the moment I sought medical assistance and received help. From this moment on, I started to come out of the horrible nightmare that was consuming my entire life. The experience was physically draining and I needed several weeks of convalescence to regain strength, even once the psychological symptoms had gone. Today, I have found myself, my partner, my kids and my work again.”
– Karine, 33 years old
Anyone may find themselves in a situation in which they must act to prevent the suicide of a friend, parent or colleague. If you wish to help a loved one, follow the Advice For Helping a Suicidal Person.
Should you feel incapable of acting, make sure that someone else does. Call 1 866 277 3553 to receive support and advice.
Should you fear for your safety or for that of a loved one, contact emergency services by dialing 9-1-1.
Assistance is available at all times for:
Regardless of which situation you find yourself, here is a list of resources from where you can receive information or immediate assistance.
365 days a year, 24/7, you can call 1 866 277 3553 to speak to someone. Do not hesitate, qualified help is always available to assist and answer your questions. They are available to talk at all times.
You can receive help from your local suicide prevention centre. To find contact information, see the List of Suicide Prevention Centres (Available in French only) on the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide’s website.
Other listening and support resources are also available:
Last update: January 30, 2015 4:35 PM
The information on this website by no means replaces the advice of a health professional. If you have questions regarding your health, contact Info-Santé 8-1-1 or see a health professional.