Warning signs   Warning signs

Suicidal thoughts? - There is Help

get help now

What can I do if I am feeling suicidal?

If you are thinking about suicide, there are several things you can do to help yourself. It begins with letting someone else know how you are feeling. You can:

  • Talk to someone you trust, such as a family member or friend.
  • Tell your doctor or a mental health provider.
  • Go to your local emergency department.
  • Call a distress line

Warning signs

Distress Crisis Resources

If you need help in an emergency or are in crisis:

  • Visit your local emergency department or call 911
  • Contact a nurse at Telehealth Ontario by dialing 1-866-797-0000
  • Call the Kids Help Phone at 1 800 668-6868
  • Contact a distress centre in Ontario near you (phone numbers provided below)


What is suicide?

Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. It occurs across all ages, incomes, ethnicity and social factors. Males die by suicide more than three times as often as females, but three times more women than men attempt suicide.


Why do people turn to suicide?

Most often, people turn to suicide when they have lost hope and feel helpless. They want their pain to end, and they may see no other way out. Suicide can also be an impulsive act that follows the use of substances. In some cases, people with psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia may hear voices that tell them to harm themselves.


Who is at risk?

People at a higher risk of suicide include those who:

  • have a serious mental health and or addiction problem
  • have had a recent major loss (for example, the death of a loved one or a job loss)
  • have a family history of suicide
  • have made previous suicide attempts
  • have a serious physical illness
  • have an impulsive personality
  • lack support from family or friends
  • have access to weapons, medications or other lethal means of suicide

Warning signs

What are the warning signs?

People who are feeling suicidal may:

  • show a sudden change in mood or behaviour
  • show a sense of hopelessness and helplessness
  • express the wish to die or end their life
  • increase substance use
  • withdraw from people and activities that they previously enjoyed
  • experience changes in sleeping patterns
  • have a decreased appetite
  • give away prized possessions or make preparations for their death (for example, creating a will).


What if the person refuses to go to the hospital?

In Ontario, if someone who is thought to be at serious risk for suicide refuses to go to the hospital, there are three ways that he or she may be compelled to go for an assessment:

  • A doctor may examine the person (either in the community or at a hospital) to issue an Application for Psychiatric Assessment (sometimes called Form 1). This allows for the person to be kept in hospital for up to 72 hours, to determine whether he or she needs psychiatric care and supervision.
  • A police officer may take the person to the hospital to be examined by a doctor.
  • A justice of the peace may authorize the police to take the person to the hospital.


What should I do if someone has attempted suicide?

Remain calm and call 911.

Can the risk be reduced?

The risk for suicide may be reduced when protective factors are present. In general, protective factors help to increase a person’s resilience - the ability to recover or "bounce back" in the face of stress and adversity. Examples include:

  • positive social supports
  • a sense of responsibility for others, such as having children in the home (except when the person has postpartum depression or psychosis) or having pets
  • positive coping skills
  • a positive relationship with a medical or mental health provider
  • self-efficacy (a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in specific situations)
  • a religious belief that suicide is wrong.


How you can help

What to do if someone you know is suicidal?

Listen to them and take them seriously. Don’t judge or minimize their feelings. Be positive and hopeful, and remember that suicide can be prevented.

Ask them if they are suicidal. Don’t be afraid that you will put the idea in their head. It may be a relief for them to talk about it.

Ask if they have a plan. Depending on their answer you may want to limit their access to lethal means, such as medication, knives or firearms.

Ask them to rate their suicidal feelings on a scale of 1 to 10. Then regularly ask them to tell you where they are on the scale, so you can assess if things are getting worse.

Let them know help is available and that the cause of their suicidal thoughts can be successfully treated.

Encourage them to talk about how they are feeling.

Encourage them to seek help from a doctor or mental health provider, and offer to help with this if they would like.

Make a safety plan with them. Who will they call if their feelings get stronger? Who can stay with them to keep them safe? Make a list of phone numbers of people and services they can call if they feel unsafe. Avoid leaving the person alone if he or she is in crisis.

Seek support for yourself; it is important that you don’t carry this burden alone.

Warning signs

Mobile crisis response teams

  • North York/ Etobicoke:
    • Mental Health crisis response program 416-498-0043, Provided by St. Elizabeth Health Care 24 hours/ 7 days Service borders: South to the lake to Jane, to Eglinton, Eglinton east to Victoria Park, north to Steeles, and west to Hwy 427
    • St. Joseph’s Hospital Mobile Crisis Team via Police Department (911) 24/7 service, accessible through police (no direct number).
  • Toronto:
    • Gerstein Centre Crisis Line - 416-929-5200, 24 hours/ 7 days Professional Referral Line - 416-929-9897, Mobile unit service borders: south to the lake, north to Eglinton, east to Bayview to Danforth and then to Victoria Park, west to Jane St..
    • Aboriginal Crisis Intervention Program 416-531-0330
    • St. Mike’s Hospital Mobile Crisis Team via Police Department (911), 24/7 service, accessible through police (no direct number).
  • Scarborough/East York:
    • Scarborough Hospital Regional Mobile Crisis Team 416-495-2033. General Campus - Mobile Crisis (Grace Campus Crisis Response only for ER) 24 hours/ 7 days Service borders: south to the lake, north to Steeles Ave., east to Port Union Rd., and west to Victoria Park to Eglinton, along Eglinton to Bayview Ave, along Bayview to Danforth, and then back to Victoria Park. To book an urgent outpatient appointment with the Crisis Program, call the number above and a Crisis professional will direct you to the appropriate service.
  • York Region:
    • Community Crisis Response Service, Distress Centre, 905-310-COPE (2673)
  • Peel Region:
    • Mobile Crisis of Peel 905-278-9036, 24/7 day crisis response for the Peel Region (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon.) immediate telephone support emergency or respite housing and hospitalization if needed
    • Credit Valley Hospital - Mobile Crisis Team 905-813-4141. Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday, Sunday and Statutory holidays, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • Hamilton:
    • St. Joseph’s Hospital Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST), 905-972-8338 24-7 service, covers Hamilton community
  • Durham:
    • Durham Crisis Services – Mobile Team 905-666-0483, 24 hrs/ 7 days; 8 crisis beds available.
  • Halton:
    • Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) 1-877-825-9011. Covers: Oakville, Milton, Georgetown, Acton and Burlington


Community crisis clinics

Scarborough Hospitals
Regional and Hospital Based Crisis Program 416-495-2891 Hours: 24/7 at the General campus, 8:30am – 11pm at the Grace campus. A multi-disciplinary team who provides effective and timely intervention to individuals who have urgent mental health needs staffs these programs. Located at both General and Grace Campus's Emergency Departments. Outpatient assessment and intervention is available for individuals who do not require an immediate Emergency Department visit but who may need services within a 24-48 hour period. You may access this service by calling our Mobile Crisis Program at (416) 289-2434.

Trillium Crisis Team 905-848-7495 Assessments and counselling to adults who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Referrals: those in crisis, their families and friends, community agencies, family physicians, specialists, schools, etc

Other resources found under Resources page.

Information on this page was compiled from camh.ca.  For more information visit CAMH.ca

  • We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better...
  • Let's remove stigma from mental illness and Borderline Personality Disorder...
  • We are all in this together, you are not alone...
  • Validation before problem solving...
  • Emotion Regulation Disorder is the new name for Borderline Personality Disorder...
  • Let's teach DBT skills in schools...
  • Let's intervene, let's intervene early...
  • Show me compassion and empathy first, don't just tell me how to change
  • Let go of judgments and believe in me so that I can believe in myself
  • Accept me so that I can better accept myself
  • We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better next time
  • Take care of yourself then you can attend to others
  • Be mindful - Observe, describe, participate effectively
  • Observe your own emotions rise and that of others, pause then engage effectively
  • Strive to be wise, not just rational or emotional
  • Change what you can, accept what you cannot
  • Validation is not agreement
  • Validate, Validate Validate
  • Be supportive, let go of judgements
  • We can't control having strong emotions but we can change how we respond to them
  • Hope is everything and is always there even when I cannot see it
  • BPD is more common than Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder combined 6%
  • The suicide rate of BPD victims is 400 times that of general population
  • BPD is the third leading killer of young women between the ages of 15-24
  • 1 of 5 seek help, 4 of 5 benefit from treatment
  • 4,000 young people die by suicide per year in Canada
  • I am not the disorder. I am a person
  • Stop the Stigma - by Speaking Up
  • Living with BPD is like not having an emotional skin
  • Genetic vulnerabilities and invalidating environment could lead to BPD
  • Breathe
  • Mindfulness is not what you think
  • Mindfulness is being present moment to moment
  • Mindfulness is just observing, paying attention to non-judgement
  • Patience, trust, non-striving and acceptance
  • Mindfulness does not come by itself..it takes practice
  • Let your breath be your anchor to observe thoughts as they arise
  • Observe thoughts as they come and go like waves on the ocean
  • Pay attention to what you are actually paying attention to
  • What we frequently think we become
  • Turning my auto-pilot off
  • Only that day dawns to which we are awake - Thoreau Walden
  • It is a radical act of love to just just down and be quiet for a time by YOURSELF
  • You are HERE!
  • Make each moment count!
  • I am a valuable part of all that EXISTS
  • I am Love. ALL is Love
  • The practice of mindfulness is not to follow your heart but to train your heart
  • It's OK, let it be
  • Smile at thoughts, they are empty. The only power thoughts have is the power you give them
  • The benefit will come to your life with consistent mindfulness practice everyday
  • Whatever you do to make it mindful!
  • Kindness is pure wisdom
  • Mindfulness is free or craving, want or hate
  • Be gentle to yourself as well as others
  • When you feel connected to someone that connection gives you purpose
  • Practice kindness whenever possible. It's always possible - Dalai Lama

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive our newsletter.  


NOTE: please do not use the button above to sign up for Family Connections (FC) - our Family Skills program. To sign up for FC follow this link instead Family Connections and register directly from that page.