Supporting a friend who has suicidal thoughts
How do we cope if a friend feels suicidal?
Everyone sometimes feels sad, depressed or angry, especially when the pressures of school, friends and family become too much to handle.
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 wouldnt normally have such as wanting to die. During those times it is important that they get professional help so they dont 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 resposnsible for those actions.
Suicide among teens often occurs following a stressful life event, such as a perceived failure at school, a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, 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 behavior 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.
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