How to support someone at risk of suicide
How to support someone
If you are worried that someone is in imminent danger call 000. Stay with them until help is arranged.
When someone expresses that they want to harm themselves, it is important to take it seriously. Contrary to popular belief, most people who attempt suicide show warning signs beforehand. These warning signs include help seeking behaviours such as telling a trusted friend or family member.
It can be frightening and overwhelming to hear that someone you care about wants to end their life. If you listen to their concerns, you can be more help than you realise, just by listening. You can also be integral in getting them the right kind of help. There are lots of avenues you can consider for getting help:
Encourage them to see their general practitioner (GP); go with them to the appointment if they want you to and make sure the GP understands the seriousness of the situation.
Call the Mental Health Team attached to your local hospital. They may be able to assess the person you are worried about and arrange appropriate care.
Ask the police to conduct a welfare check. If you are not near the person you are worried about, or they aren’t where you expect them to be, the police can help to locate the person and check on their wellbeing. If they are in any danger, the police will usually ensure they are safe and this can include taking them to a hospital for proper care and assessment.
If they have seen a counsellor or psychologist previously, encourage them to make another appointment. Encourage them to be open about their thoughts of harming themselves. Go with them to the appointment if they want you to, even if you just sit in the waiting room during the appointment. Your presence is a great support.
Your EAP is also available to help you. Your EAP counsellor will help you identify the best local resources and get help for the person you are worried about. You can contact your EAP on 1800 629 277 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
1.Rudd, M. D., Berman, A. L., Joiner,Thomas E.,,Jr, Nock, M. K., & al, e. (2006). Warning signs for suicide: Theory, research, and clinical applications. Suicide & Life - Threatening Behavior, 36(3), 255-62
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