Supporting a friend who has suicidal thoughts
How do we cope if a friend feels suicidal?
Sometimes when people are feeling very down their feelings can start to feel too much for them to cope with. This can cause them to have thoughts they wouldn’t normally have such as wanting to die. During those times it is important that they get professional help so they don’t act on their feelings. With the right support, feelings can and often do change.
It is important to understand that the actions and emotions of someone who is distressed and possibly suicidal are not in any way your fault and you can’t be responsible for those actions.
Suicide among teens often occurs following a stressful life event, such as a perceived failure at school, a relationship breakup , the death of a loved one, a divorce or a major family conflict.
As a friend you may know if the person is going through some tough times. Sometimes a specific event, stress or crisis, like a relationship breaking up or a death in the family can trigger suicidal behaviour in someone who is already feeling depressed.
If you have a friend who is talking about suicide or showing other warning signs, don’t wait to see if he or she starts to feel better. Talk about it. Most of the time people who are considering suicide are willing to discuss it if someone asks them out of concern and care.
Listen to your friend without judging and offer reassurance that you’re there and you care. If you think your friend is in immediate danger stay close, make sure he or she isn’t left alone.
CLICK HERE to watch a video that could be helpful.
Also CLICK HERE to watch another video that can be helpful if a friend is talking about suicide.
The Suicide? Help? App has been designed locally to help both those who are suicidal and to support those who have friends that are having suicidal thoughts.
The important thing is to notify a responsible adult. Although it may be tempting to try to help your friend on your own, it’s always safest to get help.
Keep this number handy on your phone, it is The Samaritans, they are always there to listen to you :-116 123
CLICK HERE for a useful guide to helping a friend