Talking about suicide?

What do I do if someone talks about suicide?

If you suspect someone may be feeling suicidal, ask them – it could save their life.


How you can help:

  1. Ask if they are thinking about suicide. It won’t put the thought in their head if it wasn’t there before, but it can be a big relief for them to be able to say, "Yes, I am" and acknowledge they need help.
  2. Listen and show you care. Let the person talk about their feelings and listen carefully to what they have to say. Don’t judge them, let them know you care.
  3. Encourage them to get help and support them to do so. Asking and listening are the first steps in developing a sense of hope. Now is the time to move forward with this hope and get help to keep the person safe. Encourage them to see their GP or call Breathing Space or Samaritans.
  4. Right now. If the person has an immediate suicide plan and means to carry it out, do not leave them alone. Get help immediately by phoning a doctor, 999, Breathing Space or Samaritans.
  5. Tell someone. Never promise secrecy. Dealing with suicide can be difficult and you can’t do it alone. Find someone to talk to about your own feelings.

For help and advice for the person you’re worried about, speak to Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 or Samaritans on 116 123.