Suicidal Situations

Suicidal Situations

Early detection and timely out-reach are crucial in the prevention of suicide. It is never easy to talk about suicidal thoughts because of the fear of being judged. It is not easy either to support someone at risk of suicide.

Warning Signs

  • Preoccupations with death or suicidal thoughts (e.g. talking about death or hinting death as a better alternative to living)
  • Giving away their valuable possessions or sentimental items
  • Making final arrangements such as writing a suicide note (including online postings), preparing for a will, or expressing their funeral arrangements
  • A sense of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Prior suicide attempts or self-harm
  • Impulsive or self-harm behaviours
  • Drastic mood swings or a diagnosable mental disorder
  • Alcohol intoxication or drug abuse
  • Lack of social support and a sense of isolation or loneliness
  • Giving up on available means of help
  • Untreated depression

Imminent Risk/ Urgent Situations

Suicidal risks become much higher or even imminent when the student:

  • is engaging in life-threatening behaviours (e.g. attempting to jump from height or taking drugs)
  • has a concrete and lethal suicide plan (in written, verbal, or behavioural forms)
  • has already got or is obtaining the necessary objects to carry out the suicide plan
  • has a previous suicide attempt

Managing Imminent Suicidal Risks

Take immediate and assertive actions to stop the suicidal behaviours as far as possible.  

Below are some suggestions for your consideration, if appropriate:

  • Stay calm and be supportive
  • Call the Police at 999 if your friend is harming or is going to harm oneself
  • Seek help from the Security Control Office (24-hour) at 3917 2882 if the crisis is happening on campus. They can deploy staff to assist you, help you call the police or ambulance, and effectively direct the police or ambulance to the right location on campus
  • Call for support immediately. Do not handle the situation alone.
  • If your friend is sitting or standing in an unsafe spot, persuade him/her to move to a safe place
  • Encourage your friend to stay away from danger
  • Stay with your friend. Do not leave your friend alone
  • Listen to your friend about his/her distress while waiting for other support
  • Encourage or accompany your friend to seek professional help if possible

Calling the Police

When you are calling the police, you should:

  • Stay calm
  • Briefly describe the critical situation and the student’s condition
  • State the exact location of the student. If the student leaves the area, note the direction he/she takes.
  • Clearly state your name and contact number for follow-up

Please seek help from the Security Control Office when a crisis happens on campus.  They can:

  • deploy staff to assist you on campus quickly
  • help you call the police or ambulance
  • effectively direct the police or ambulance to the right location on campus

If the risk is not imminent

If you want to learn more about how to help people at risk of suicide, you may join the Mental Health First Aid Training course.

Suicidal Situations