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What To Do If You Or Someone You Know Is Suicidal

[Each of the following list expand to the text below]

  • If you are feeling Suicidal
  • Warning Signs of Suicide
  • If you think a friend or family member is considering Suicide
  • Depression and suicide

 

If You are feeling Suicidal…

When you’re feeling depressed or suicidal, problems don’t seem temporary—they seem overwhelming and permanent. But with time, you will feel better, especially if you reach out for help. [insert 1life logo here]

Read more below.

 

Here are some Tips if you are experiencing Suicidal Thoughts: [expand to text below]

Reach Out – Talk:  If you are feeling suicidal, be assured there are many people who would like to support you during this difficult time, so please reach out for help! Your family and friends would rush to help you if you were drowning or in an accident, so tell them now if your life is in danger from suicide.

Talk to friends or family

or

Talk to a Helpline Service

If you prefer to speak in confidence to someone you don’t know or even anonymously, phone a Helpline such as 1Life Suicide Prevention on Freephone 1-800-24-7-100, or to talk to your GP or other health professional.  For additional helpline numbers see: [link to need help?/crisis helplines]

Get Emergency Help if Needed: A suicidal person needs to see a doctor or health professional immediately; visit your GP or local hospital Accident & Emergency Dept or call 999.

Try to remember that other people felt Suicidal and are now glad to be Alive. This is the outcome in nearly every single case, so it is likely to be the outcome in your case also, even though the pain is unbearable at the moment.  These Suicidal feelings can be temporary; this urge can be an impulse that will pass.

Tell yourself, or write down, what you would tell a friend who was feeling suicidal.

If you are feeling Suicidal, try to have someone with you.  Go and see a friend or family member and spend the night with them if possible. In the morning services can be utilized to help you.

Avoid drinking alcohol or taking drugs when you are feeling suicidal. They wash away logic and let your emotions and impulses take over. When you are feeling low, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs can drastically exaggerate these impulses and distort how bad things are.

Dispose of any means you were/are contemplating using. Reducing your access to means will help when you are feeling particularly low. 

 

If you think a Friend or Family member is considering suicide…  

Let them know your concern and your willingness to help.  Seek professional help immediately. Your intervention may help the person to see that other options are available to stay safe and get treatment.  Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can be the first step to help save a life!

Read more below.

 

WHAT TO DO

IF YOU THINK A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER IS CONSIDERING SUICIDE…

Take all signs of Suicidal Behaviour seriously – If someone you know says he or she is thinking of suicide or is behaving in a way that gives you cause for concern, don’t ignore the situation or try to play it down.  Many people who die by suicide give signs or voice their intentions to a confidante at some stage prior to taking their own lives.  You may feel that you cannot break this confidence, or that you are overreacting, but the safety of your friend or loved one is of paramount importance.  Don’t worry about straining your relationship if you are concerned that someone’s life is at risk.

If You See the Warning Signs of Suicide…opening a dialogue with the person by asking some very simple and direct questions can help them take the first steps to seeking help.  Suicidal thoughts are common with some mental illnesses but despite progress in recent years, there can still be a stigma around mental ill health.  Whether or not depression or any other mental illnesses are present, this perceived stigma can be an added barrier for the sufferer in opening up about their thoughts.  Your willingness to talk about it in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational way can be the help a person needs to seek professional help.

But just how do you broach the subject?

It’s OK to ask the following Direct Questions – it’s OK to use the “S” WORD:

  • “Do you ever feel so bad that you think about Suicide?”
  • “Do you have a plan to die by Suicide or take your life?”
  • “Have you thought about when you would do it (today, tomorrow, next week)?”
  • “Have you thought about what method you would use?”

By asking these questions, it will help you determine whether your friend or family member is in immediate danger, and therefore needs help.

  • Get Emergency Help if Needed: A suicidal person needs to see a doctor or health professional immediately; visit your GP or local hospital Accident & Emergency Dept or call 999.
  • Don’t leave the Person alone;
  • Drugs / Alcohol: Try to establish if he or she is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or may have taken an overdose;
  • Never keep a plan for suicide a secret; tell a family member or friend immediately what’s going on, even if you are breaking a confidence;
  • Crisis Helpline Assistance: Call the 1Life Suicide Prevention Helpline Freephone 1-800-24-7-100.  Professional Counsellors are available 24/7 to provide support for anyone in suicidal crisis or with any issue related to suicide or deliberate self-harm for themselves or for another person. [insert 1life logo here]

Remember, always take thoughts or plans of Suicide seriously.

Try not to Minimise Problems: Trying to convince a person who wishes to end their life that it’s not that bad, or that they have everything to live for, may only increase their feelings of guilt and hopelessness.

Don’t try to shame a person into changing their mind. Your opinion of their situation is irrelevant.

Reassure them that help is available, that what they are experiencing is treatable, and that suicidal feelings are temporary. Life can get better!

If you feel the person isn’t in immediate danger, acknowledge the pain is legitimate and offer to work together to get help – “Let’s go together and get some help”.  This support can come as a relief to the person so it is very important to ensure that you follow through.  Help find a doctor or a mental health professional, participate in making the first phone call, or go along to the first appointment. If you are in a position to help, don’t presume that your persistence is unwanted or intrusive.

24 Hour Helplines:

  • 1Life Crisis Helpline Assistance:  [insert 1life logo]

Professional Counsellors are available 24/7 to provide support for anyone in suicidal crisis or with any issue related to Suicide or deliberate self-harm for themselves or for another person.

Freephone Helpline Number:  1-800-24-7-100

Helpline Hours: 24 hours a day 7 days a week

Text Support: Text HELP to 51444 (for text service only standard text message rates apply)

  • Samaritans [insert Samaritans logo]
    Providing confidential emotional support 24/7 to those experiencing despair, distress or suicidal feelings.

Helpline Number:  1850 60 90 90 (lo call rates apply)

Helpline Hours: 24 hours a day 7 days a week

Email: jo@samaritans.org (Note: email is for emotional support requests only with every effort made to respond within 24 hours)

Web: www.samaritans.org

Or:

  • Call 999 in the event of an emergency;
  • Visit your Accident & Emergency Department;
  • Talk to your GP.