At James’ Place we talk to people about suicide every day, but we don’t underestimate how hard it can be to talk to someone you care about if you are worried that they are having suicidal thoughts.
Please be assured that talking to someone about suicide won’t put the thought into their head or make them feel worse. We know that having that direct conversation with someone can be the first step to getting them the help they need.
Here are some of our key tips.
You are about to have a very difficult conversation and you may need to take some action after it – so be prepared – have some useful phone numbers and contact details available. Hub of Hope is a useful resource and will quickly signpost you to what is available on your area
Say what you mean and use those difficult words – suicide, killing yourself, taking your life.
‘I’m worried about you and some of the things you have been saying. Are you having thoughts about killing yourself?’
Listen and be in the moment with the person, don’t try to dissuade or invalidate their feelings, give them that time to express their feelings.
Start to come up with a simple plan – remember no one will be expecting you to solve all the problems – at this point you will just be helping the person decide what they want to do next.
If you agree to do something, make sure you follow through.
Make sure that you get the support you need.
You may find it helpful to complete the training course from the Zero suicide Alliance. Our Clinical Lead, Jane Boland has helped develop this training as the subject matter expert.