It can be very distressing if you are worried about someone who feels suicidal. They may have talked about wanting to end their life, or you may be concerned that they are thinking about it.
You might feel unsure of what to do, but there are lots of things that might help. You could:
The main aspect of supporting someone through this is compassion, listening and most importantly not over-reacting or becoming upset. Remaining calm and talking the situation through is extremely important.
It may also be helpful to remove things that someone could use to harm themselves, particularly if they have mentioned specific things they might use.
It has helped me to have someone who loves me who accepts that I am feeling what I am feeling, and yet choose to remain with me quietly and encourage, but not force me, to have a sip of water or a bite of something, or go for a walk with them, etc.
For more information on encouraging someone to seek treatment for suicidal feelings, see our information on supporting someone else to seek treatment.
If someone has attempted suicide, call 999 and stay with them until the ambulance arrives.
If you're worried that someone is at immediate risk of taking their own life, it's best to stay with them and take one of these steps:
See our information on suicidal feelings if you are experiencing suicidal feelings yourself.
This information was published in January 2017. We will revise it in 2020.