How can I help someone with suicidal feelings? 

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: 

  • encourage them to talk about their feelings 
  • encourage them to seek treatment and support
  • offer emotional support 
  • offer practical support 
  • help them think of ideas for self-help 
  • help them to make a support plan 

“The main aspect of supporting someone through this is compassion, listening and most importantly not overreacting 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. 

For more information on encouraging someone to seek treatment for suicidal feelings, see our information on supporting someone else to seek treatment

What to do in an emergency 

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, if you can, you should remove anything the person could use to harm themselves. It’s best to stay with them and take one of these steps: 

  • ring their family doctor or out of hours service for an emergency appointment 
  • contact their Integrated Community Centre for Mental Wellness (ICCMW) if they have one 
  • encourage them to ring Samaritans on 2896 0000 (24 hours a day)

See our Find Help Now page for more information on organisations that could help. 

  • go to the nearest hospital emergency room or call 999 for an ambulance 

See our information on suicidal feelings if you are experiencing suicidal feelings yourself. 

“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.”

Next page