People who talk about it don’t commit suicide.
Suicidal people are absolutely intent upon dying.
Once a person becomes suicidal, he/she is suicidal forever.
After a crisis, improvement means that the suicide risk is over.
Suicide occurs mainly among the rich/poor.
Suicidal behaviour is a sign of mental illness.
You are either the suicidal type or you’re not.


Most people who kill themselves have given definite warnings of their intention.
Most suicidal people are ambivalent about living and dying; they gamble with death but may retain the desire to live.
Suicidal people often give indications of thoughts (sometimes before the thoughts become intentions) by words or actions.
Suicidal thoughts may return, but they are not permanent, and in some people, they may never return.
Many suicides occur in a ‘period of improvement’ when the person has the energy and the will to turn despairing thoughts into self-destructive action.
Suicide occurs in all groups in society.
Suicidal behaviour indicates deep illness, unhappiness but not necessarily mental illness. It could happen to anybody.

Signs of Suicidal Intent

Suicide risk is greater where there is:

  • Recent loss or the break up of a close relationship.
  • Current or anticipated unhappy change in health or circumstances, e.g. retirement or financial problems.
  • Painful and/or disabling physical illness.
  • Heavy use of, or dependency on alcohol or other drugs.
  • History of earlier suicidal behaviour.
  • History of suicide in the family.
  • Depression.

People often show their suicidal feelings by:

  • Being withdrawn and unable to relate.
  • Having definite ideas of how to commit suicide, and maybe speaking of tidying up affairs, or giving other indications of planning suicide.
  • Talking about feeling isolated and lonely.
  • Expressing feelings of failure, uselessness, hopelessness or loss of self esteem.
  • Constantly dwelling on problems for which there seem to be no solutions.
  • Expressing the lack of supporting philosophy of life, such as a religious belief.

Getting Help

If you know anybody who you think might be contemplating suicide, talk to them and try to convince them to see somebody from the Health Unit, one of the counsellors, chaplains or the Students’ Union Welfare Officer.

Chaplains & Student Counsellors
Áras de Brún
Extension 2484
(091) 750377

Welfare Officer
Students’ Union, Áras na Mac Léinn.
Extension 2747
(086) 3853659

Student Health Unit
Áras na Mac Léinn
Extension 2604
(091) 750451
(087) 2623997 – emergencies after 5pm

The service provided by the above is free and is totally confidential.

Artice by
Chris Newell