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25 Aug 2022

Suicide Prevention Advice

Suicide prevention starts with recognising the warning signs and taking them seriously. If you think a friend or family member is suicidal, there’s plenty you can do to help save a life.

5 Action Steps you can take to support someone in crisis:

  • Watch out
    For warning signs, distress and changes in behaviour.
  • Speak up & ask
    “Are you thinking about hurting yourself?”. It’s not an easy question, but by asking someone who is struggling, you may help save a life.
  • Be supportive
    - Take the person seriously; listen to them carefully and without judgement;
    - Try to offer hope by assuring the person that, with the right help, their suicidal thoughts will pass with time;
    - Try not to act shocked and/or try to ‘fix’ problems;
    - Don’t promise confidentiality and don’t blame yourself.
  • Get professional help
    Try to encourage the person to get the help they need – you can call a crisis line for advice and referrals;
    - You might be able to motivate them to see a mental health professional, help locate a treatment facility or even take them to a doctor’s appointment;
    - If you think the risk of suicide is high or imminent, respond quickly! 
  • Stay connected
    Keeping in touch after a crisis can make a significant difference – studies have shown the number of suicide deaths go down when someone follows-up with an at-risk person.

If you are feeling suicidal or wanting to support someone who is, you can call a phoneline or message a text line.

Read more to find out what resources are available.

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