Supporting someone who feels suicidal
Explains how to support someone who feels suicidal, giving practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go for support.
A support plan is a list that sets out how someone would like to be supported and what they can do to help themselves in a particular situation. It can encourage them to tell you what might help. It's also a useful way of keeping important information and contacts together in one place.
Making a support plan is a way of working out what might be helpful and recording those ideas in one place, which some people find useful. It's not a legal agreement and it doesn't mean you have to help.
As well as asking someone what they might find helpful, it's important to think about what help you feel able to give. If someone wants help you don't feel you can offer, it's okay not to agree and to find other options.
You could encourage the person you are concerned about to make a support plan. The support plan is for them to fill in, although you might help them do this.
It can be helpful to:
- talk together about what to include
- ask them what has or hasn't helped before
- write or print more than one copy
- keep it somewhere easy to find
- save important numbers in your phones.
The thing I find most helpful, is just knowing someone is there. Sometimes just listening to someone drivel on about mundane things. Sometimes talking about how I feel – just simply saying to someone I feel suicidal.
This information was published in July 2020. We will revise it in 2023.
References and bibliography available on request.
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