Suicidal feelings can range from being preoccupied by abstract thoughts about ending your life or feeling that people would be better off without you, to thinking about methods of suicide or making clear plans to take your own life.
The type of suicidal feelings people have varies person to person, in particular in terms of:
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.
If someone feels suicidal, talking to someone who can listen and be supportive may be their first step towards getting help. They could talk to someone in their life. They could also talk to a professional such as a doctor or therapist, or a trained listener at a helpline. (See our booklet on Making sense of talking treatments and the section on telephone support in our online Crisis services resource for further information.)
If you feel able to listen, you could ask them about how they are feeling. It could help if you:
Not undermining their feelings and letting them know that you believe them and want to be there for them is really necessary