Don't hide it, talk about it
Suicide can affect everyone regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, and culture. Listening to and supporting people in these circumstances can save lives. Not all people with mental health difficulties will have thoughts of suicide, and not all people who complete suicide experienced mental illness.Most people thinking about suicide don't want to die; they want to end they pain they are suffering. Sometimes, nobody could have predicted a death by suicide. In many cases, help and support can make a difference, and avert a tragic outcome. Listening to, and supporting people in these circumstances can save lives. One of the most important ways to help someone experiencing thoughts of suicide is to encourage them to talk, listen to them, and to take it seriously.
Five things that can help
Here are five ways to help someone with suicidal thoughts.
1. Ask: If you suspect someone may be feeling suicidal, ask them. It can be a relief to be asked, and it shows you care. Be direct and clear, such as "Are you thinking about suicide?" Don't use euphemisms such as "You're not thinking of doing something silly?" Don't delay in asking.
2. Listen: Listen without judgement. This will help them to release their emotions and talk through their issues. Don't dismiss their feelings. Show the person you care about them. Don't try to solve the person's problems.
3. Encourage the person to get help: Encourage the person to make an appointment with their GP. They could call Breathing Space (0800 83 85 87) or Samaritans (116 123). If the person has immediate suicide plans, and the means to carry it out, call 999. Keep yourself safe.
4. Visit the Tayside Suicide Help Website and Download the App: Find out how you can help someone with suicidal thoughts by visiting http://www.suicidehelp.co.uk or downloading the app for Android or iOS
5. Find out about suicide prevention training in your area: There are lots of suicide prevention training courses out there, many of them are free. Find out more at http://www.chooselife.net/Training/index.aspx