Helping a suicidal friend


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If someone you know is feeling suicidal they might need someone they feel safe with to talk to and express their feelings, fears and anxieties with, and to be themselves with. 

What might someone who is suicidal want?  

  • Someone to listen. Someone who will take time to really listen to them. Someone who wont judge or force advice or opinions, but will give their undivided attention.
  • Someone to trust. Someone who will respect them and won’t try to take charge. Someone who will treat everything in complete confidence.
  • Someone to care. Someone who will make themselves available put the person at ease and be calm. Someone who can reassure, accept and believe. Someone who is able to show they care.  

What might someone who is suicidal not want?  

  • To be alone. Rejection can make the problem seem ten times worse. Having someone to turn to makes all the difference.
  • To be lectured. Lectures don’t help. Nor does a suggestion to “cheer up” or an easy assurance that “everything will be OK.” Try not to analyse, categorise or criticise.
  • To be interrogated. Don’t change the subject, don’t pity or patronise. Talking about feelings can sometimes be difficult. People who get the confidence to speak to you about suicide wont want to be rushed or put on the defensive.