How to talk to somebody about suicide
Discussing suicidal thoughts may seem like a daunting prospect. Learn to shape these discussions with clear and practical advice.Read more
Do you have a friend that is overwhelmed or struggling to cope? Having reached out and asked how they’re going, they’ve admitted they’re not coping well, but what next? Read our advice on how you can help a friend that’s overwhelmed.
Supporting someone you care about, can be a difficult and stressful time.
Do you have a friend that’s overwhelmed? Are they struggling to cope? If you’ve reached out to them and they’ve admitted they’re struggling with everything that’s going on right now, you’ve done the right thing. But what next?
Just taking a minute to ask someone how they are feeling can make a real difference. It lets your friend know that you care about them, and are there to support them.
Make sure you really listen to what they have to say. By making eye contact, not interrupting them, and listening without judgement you are providing great, reassuring support. By talking about what’s going on with them right now, your friend can start to feel some relief and less isolated and overwhelmed.
Asking questions shows you are engaged in the conversation, and may make your friend open up more. Always try to ask questions, as opposed to trying to solve their problems.
Tell your friend you are there for them. Repeat to them they don’t have to deal with these overwhelming feelings alone. Ask them what support they need from you, and find out if they have spoken with anyone else about their situation.
Explain to your friend that you’re not a professional counsellor or doctor, so won’t have all the answers, so encourage your friend to seek professional help. Especially if they have been overwhelmed and not coping for a while.
Offer to help the person find support or make an appointment together by:
If you are worried about your friend’s safety, let someone else know. If they have said they don’t want you to let anybody know, you can call Suicide Call Back Service yourself, for free, and ask a professional counsellor for advice on how to best support your friend.
Check in with your friend on a regular basis and find out how they’re doing.
Hearing about your friend’s problems can affect you too. Make sure you do something you enjoy to relieve the stress. You can find further information about looking after yourself here.
If you are worried about someone, and need someone to talk to, call the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 to speak to a counsellor.
If it is an emergency, please call 000.
A person who is thinking about suicide may give some clues or suicide signs to those around them that indicate they are distressed. These are often referred to as suicide warning signs. Suicide prevention starts with recognising these suicidal warning signs and taking them seriously.Read more
Depression is not always obvious and there can be many signs something is wrong. If you’re worried about your friend, here are some things to look out for.Read more