Supporting someone with suicidal thoughts

If you think someone is in immediate danger, the quickest way to get help is to call an ambulance on 999.
What to do if someone is in immediate danger or experiencing a mental health crisis.

Sections

1. How to offer support

2. What does ‘being there’ for someone involve?

3. Creating a 'safety plan'

4. Try to create a support network

5. How often should I check in with them?

6. Getting additional help for someone

7. Looking after yourself

How to offer support

Simple actions can help you be there for someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts or recovering from an attempt to take their own life.

It’s also important to know when to seek professional support, and when to step back to look after yourself.

Evidence shows asking someone if they're suicidal can protect them. By asking someone directly about suicide, you give them permission to tell you how they feel, and let them know that they are not a burden.

People who have felt suicidal will often say what a huge relief it was to be able to talk about what they were experiencing.

If someone does let you know that they are having suicidal thoughts, always take them seriously. You don't have to be able to solve their problems. But, if you feel you can, offer support and encourage them to talk about how they're feeling.

Talking to someone about suicide

Richard shares his thoughts on how best to bring up the issue of suicide with someone.

StS - Richard

Richard, Samaritans volunteer