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
The idea that someone is feeling suicidal and wants to end their life can be a very confronting, and a difficult concept for many people. Understand the contributing factors and how you can help.
The idea that someone is feeling suicidal and want to end their life can be a very confronting and difficult concept for many people. It can be very hard to understand why someone has reached the point where they are considering ending their life.
People who contemplate suicide are experiencing intense emotional pain and may view suicide as a way to end this pain. The pain they are feeling may be due to any number of experiences or circumstances. Negative life events can sometimes act as triggers for suicidal thoughts or behaviour.
In many cases, the person is contending with several stressful life events or circumstances at once. Their thoughts and emotions connected to these experiences become overwhelming for them.
It is important to note that suicidal thoughts and feelings can be triggered by any life event; the crucial issue is how a person feels about the event and what meaning it holds for them. While the above situations are often linked to suicidal feelings or behaviour, whether they will actually cause someone to consider ending their life depends heavily on that individual’s interpretation of their overall circumstances.
Mental illness is a significant risk factor for suicide, though the relationship between the two is complex.
People with mental illness do have a higher risk of suicide than the general population, but mental illness alone does not cause suicidal behaviour. Rather, it is more likely to be due to an interaction between their mental illness and negative life events that may trigger suicidal thoughts.
The risk of suicide is higher in people with multiple mental illnesses or those who have recently been discharged from psychiatric care. Because of these considerations, it is critical that people experiencing a mental illness receive appropriate treatment and care.
If you are with someone who is in immediate danger, or concerned for their safety in any way:
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
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