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When you are worried about someone you care about, a partner, friend or family member it is sometimes hard to know how to offer them help. You may have noticed they are feeling hopeless or you may have identified some warning signs of suicide. It is important to offer them help but equally important to look after yourself. It will be difficult to ask the hard question “Are you thinking of suicide?” but you might be the only person who asks.
If the person that you are worried about is experiencing a crisis, feeling suicidal or in distress please ring one of the agencies below:
For immediate assistance when life may be in danger
For national 24/7 help lines and crisis support counselling:
Plan a time to talk without interruptions. Listen to him or her without judgement and reassure them that you care.
Be direct in asking “Are you thinking of suicide?”, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”, “Are you thinking of ending your life?”. It is a myth that you put the idea into someone’s head by asking this.
It can be hard to ask this question when you are face to face with someone you care about so it would help to practice saying these words so you are prepared when you need to have the conversation.
Asking them directly can lead to getting them the help they need.
Do not leave the person at risk alone or promise not to tell anyone that they are having suicidal thoughts.
Together choose an appropriate support person – this might be a doctor or VVCS counsellor. Offer to book the appointment and go along with them to the appointment.
Remember to look after yourself and seek help for yourself if needed.