At-Risk Behaviour

Words or behaviours that give rise to a reasonable concern that an individual may be at risk of harming themselves or others in the future.

 What are some examples of behaviors I might observe? 

  • Noticeable changes in behaviour or appearance
  • A significant drop in performance or repeated absences
  • Evidence of depression, hopelessness or suicidal thoughts/statements
  • Inappropriate responses such as offensive comments or angry outbursts
  • Online posts or social media posts that allude to harm to self or others
  • Strained interpersonal relationships or isolating behaviours
  • Significant change in life circumstances such as loss of job or relationship
  • Comments or actions that are threatening

Specific Examples

Below are some examples of observed behaviours that may lead to concerns that an individual is at risk of harming themselves or others. Often there will be a noticeable change in behaviour or a pattern of behaviour (more than one). Not all of these behaviours need to be present to share concerns with the HIAR Coordinator in order to help the individual at risk. 


  • Angry outbursts
  • Agitated
  • Altercation with others
  • Bullying
  • Disordered eating
  • Disturbing behaviour
  • Hostile or offensive remarks
  • Intimidation and bullying
  • Intoxication or substance abuse
  • Poor hygiene
  • Stalking-like behaviour
  • Strange or disturbing behaviour
  • Threats
  • Visible weight change



  • Disruptive behaviour
  • Drop in performance
  • Frequently interrupting (e.g. in class, in staff meetings, etc.)
  • Inappropriate content in writing
  • Incoherent writing
  • Missing assignments
  • Repeated absences
  • Significant drop in performance



  • Anxiety/Panic Attacks
  • Depression
  • Devoid of any emotions
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Erratic mood swings
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Extreme/prolonged sadness
  • Isolated or withdrawn
  • Problems interacting with others



  • Change in eating habits
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Expressions of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Giving away possessions
  • Making direct or indirect statements about dying
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Saying goodbye statements
  • Self-injury
  • Sudden change in mood or behaviour
  • Taking unnecessary risks
  • Talking or joking about suicide/death
  • Thoughts about suicide