Suicide is preventable. Many factors and circumstances can contribute to someone’s decision to end his or her life. Find out how to recognize the warning signs and learn the importance of talking about suicide.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of suicide, please call 911.


  • Every day in Alberta, more than 1 person will die as a result of a suicide.
  • There will be 5 attempted suicide/self-inflicted injury hospital admissions.
  • There will be 14 attempted suicide/self-inflicted injury emergency department visits.
  • In 2010, suicides were the leading cause of injury deaths accounted for 29% of injury deaths in Alberta. There were 513 suicide deaths, 1,833 attempted suicide/self-inflicted injury hospital admissions, and 5,053 emergency department visits.
  • Males accounted for 75% of suicide deaths. Females accounted for 58% of attempted suicide/self-inflicted injury hospital admissions and 61% emergency department visits.
  • Middle age men had the highest suicide death rates. Whereas young female (15 to 19 years) had the highest attempted suicide/self-inflicted injury hospital admission and emergency department visit rates.
  • The World Health Organization reported that every year almost 1 million people die by suicide. This is equal to 1 death every 40 seconds.
  • In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide.
  • Suicide is the single greatest cause of injury-related deaths for Aboriginal people. The suicide rate of First Nations youth is 5 to 7 times higher than the national average and 11 times higher for Inuit youth.
  • Each suicide has a serious impact on at least 6 people.

Prevention Messages

  • Look for signs. Many people who are thinking about suicide are afraid to tell you. Here are a few signs that someone might want you to help them talk about suicide:
    • They talk about wanting to die.
    • They lose interest in doing things they enjoy.
    • They avoid being with people they like.
    • They have more trouble at home, work or school than usual.
    • They are misusing or abusing drugs or alcohol.
  • Ask a direct question. Reaching out and talking about suicide could save someone’s life. Asking someone if they are thinking of suicide can be hard to do.
    • You could say something like: “You seem really sad lately. I’m concerned. Have you been thinking about killing yourself... Suicide?”
  • It can be hard to listen to someone talking about wanting to die. Do your best. Be patient and show respect. Listening to reason for dying can be helpful to find reasons for living. Don’t promise to keep secrets about suicide. Tell them that you will get help if their life is in danger.
  • Get them help. If they tell you they have made a plan and that they could die by suicide right away, you need to get help right away. Call 9-1-1.

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