Are you worried someone may be considering suicide? Here’s what you should know:

Are you worried someone may be considering suicide? Here’s what you should know:

What you should know if you are worried about someone

  • Suicides are preventable.
  • It is okay to talk about suicide.
  • Asking about suicide does not provoke the act of suicide. It often reduces anxiety and helps people feel understood.

Warning signs that someone may be seriously thinking about suicide

  • Threatening to kill oneself.
  • Saying things like “No-one will miss me when I am gone.”
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself, such as seeking access to pesticides, firearms or medication, or browsing the internet for means of taking one’s own life.
  • Saying goodbye to close family members and friends, giving away of valued possessions, or writing a will.

Who is at risk of suicide?

  • People who have previously tried to take their own life.
  • Someone with depression or an alcohol or drug problem.
  • Those who are suffering from severe emotional distress, for example following the loss of a loved one or a relationship break-up.
  • People suffering from chronic pain or illness.
  • People who have experienced war, violence, trauma, abuse or discrimination.
  • Those who are socially isolated.

What you can do

  • Find an appropriate time and a quiet place to talk about suicide with the person you are worried about. Let them know that you are there to listen.
  • Encourage the person to seek help from a professional, such as a doctor, mental health professional, counsellor or social worker. Offer to accompany them to an appointment.
  • If you think the person is in immediate danger, do not leave him or her alone. Seek professional help from the emergency services, a crisis line, or a health-care professional, or turn to family members.
  • If the person you are worried about lives with you, ensure that he or she does not have access to means of self-harm (for example pesticides, firearms or medication) in the home.
  • Stay in touch to check how the person is doing.

Remember: If you know someone who may be considering suicide, talk to them about it. Listen with an open mind and offer your support.

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