• Question: what if someone said they wanted to kill themselves what should I tell them

    Asked by random :) to Psychiatry Ward Team, Home Treatment Team on 30 Jan 2019.
    • Photo: Sheffield Psychiatry Ward Team

      Sheffield Psychiatry Ward Team answered on 30 Jan 2019: last edited 30 Jan 2019 11:06 pm

      Hi, Emma here

      I think the most important thing is to listen to them and give them space to talk about how they are feeling. Feeling suicidal can be an incredibly lonely and scary place so the fact they have opened up to you is a really big step.

      You should gently encourage them to talk to someone, such as a parent or their GP. You can consider offering to be with them when they tell their parents or go to an appointment. Reassure them that there is help available and they won’t have to feel that way forever. If they are finding it really hard to resist thoughts of hurting themselves, or you are really worried about them or they think they are about to hurt themselves, you can call an ambulance to take them to A&E where they can be kept safe and assessed by a mental health professional.

      There are also some other sources of support, such as the Samaritans, which is a charity phone line where people can call anonymously 24/7. There are usually helplines in each city too, such as a crisis line – here is a good resource to point them to: https://www.rethink.org/about-us/our-mental-health-advice/crisis-contacts

      It’s important to listen, be non-judgemental and be patient with people – if they are not doing as much/withdrawing from their usual stuff then check in with them and make sure they are ok. Try not to offer solutions such as “Just think positive!” as that is very difficult to do when you have depression. Instead, you could offer to support them – do a bit of shopping for them or cook them a meal if they feel up to it, send them messages letting them know you are thinking about them, maybe even offer to bring round a film or watch Netflix together in your PJs with no pressure to go out of the house if they don’t want to. Be guided by them but make sure they know you care 🙂