Help for someone with suicidal thoughts
IMPORTANT: If at any point you feel supporting your friend is too much for you to manage, it’s important to seek professional help.
1. Let your friend know that they are not alone and open up a conversation about what they really need. Be careful about becoming their only support or keeping things secret if you think they are at immediate risk.
2. Help your friend identify other people who are able to help e.g. a teacher, family member. Look for free or low cost counsellors in their area. Youth Access is a good place to start
3. Help your friend write a safety plan. A safety plan identifies a number of actions which could help keep them safe. Save helpline numbers in their phone e.g. Samaritans: 116 123; Childline: 0800 1111; remove knifes from the house; flush excess medication down the toilet.
4. Download the StayAlive app with them. Stay Alive is suicide prevention app packed with information to help you stay safe.
5. If you are feeling really worried or fearful about your friend it’s important to name the feeling e.g. “I’m feeling concerned about you”. This conveys the message that you really care.
6. If your friend is saying how useless and hopeless everything is and they want to end it all, you can say something like “It worries me to hear you say that” or “That’s really hard to hear. How would you like me to help you?”
7. If your friend is using words like suicide or that they want to kill themselves, it’s important to jump on this by calling 999 or taking them to A&E.
9. If you and your friend are old enough to take this action alone, offer to go with your friend to their GP as a first step to getting some professional support.
10. Pay attention to your friend’s social media status and profile photos. This could help you track their mood and intentions. Look out for sudden changes in their mood or messages and strike up a conversation about it.
11. If you think they are spending time with people who are dangerous to their wellbeing, try to keep them away. You might need help from others with this.
12. Try not to give up on them. Always try to show up for your friend.
13. It’s always important to say something or do something. Keeping silent is not an option.
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