With more people reporting thoughts of self-harm or suicide during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.
And new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that suicides are increasing in England and Wales.
It’s time to bust the myths surrounding suicide, and make sure that we can all offer the best support and advice when it comes to suicide prevention.
We look at three tips for offering support to someone who feels suicidal.
If you spot the warning signs of suicide in someone you care about, you may wonder if it’s a good idea to say anything. What if you’re wrong? What if the person gets angry?
In such situations, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable or afraid. But anyone who talks about suicide or shows other warning signs needs immediate help, the sooner the better.
Talking to a friend or family member about their suicidal thoughts and feelings can be extremely difficult for anyone.
But if you’re unsure whether someone is suicidal, the best way to find out is to ask.
You can’t make a person suicidal by showing that you care. In fact, giving them the opportunity to express their feelings can provide relief from loneliness and pent-up negative feelings, and may prevent a suicide attempt.
When talking to a suicidal person:
You should never:
If you can, evaluate the danger the person is in.
Those at the highest risk of suicide will have a specific suicide plan, the means to carry out the plan, a time for doing it, and an intention to do it.
The answers to these questions could help you assess the immediate risk.
If the person doesn’t have a plan, then they are low risk.
Someone at moderate risk is the person who may be having suicidal thoughts but has not considered their plan.
A person who has suicidal thoughts and a plan is high risk.
Finally, a person who has suicidal thoughts, a plan and tells you that they will attempt to take their own life is at severe risk.
If you believe a suicide attempt seems imminent, call a local crisis centre, dial 911, or take the person to an emergency room.
If someone you know is suicidal, the best way to help is by offering a listening ear.
Let them know that they are not alone and that you care. Don’t take responsibility for healing them. You can offer support, but you can’t make a suicidal person get better. They must commit to personal recovery.
It takes a lot of courage to help someone who is suicidal, so don’t forget to take care of yourself. Find someone that you trust to talk to about your feelings and get support of your own.
Try and get a suicidal person the help they need. Call a crisis line for advice and referrals.
Even after the immediate suicidal crisis has passed, stay in touch with the person, periodically checking in or dropping by.
Your support is vital to ensure your friend or loved one remains on the recovery track.
If you’ve had suicidal thoughts, or you suspect that a work colleague, friend or family member might, further help and support is available.
Samaritans offers a 24-hours a day, 7-days-a-week support service. Call 116 123.
Papyrus is a dedicated service for people up to the age of 35. Call 0800 068 41 41.
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is a national helpline for men. Call 0800 58 58 58.
You can also call the free NHS 24-hour national helpline for health advice and information. Call 111.
For support on managing employees mental health and advice on how you can build suicide prevention into your own workplace wellbeing strategy, contact the team at Fusion today.
Posted by Clare Hurley on
23 September 2020 at 9:00 AM
Choices for WellbeingHealth & WellbeingMental HealthOccupational Health