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In A Crisis?

Telling someone that you are suicidal is an incredibly difficult and brave act. It takes a lot of courage to share your thoughts about dying with another person. If you are unsure about how to start the conversation, we’re here to help!

Safety first!

If you have been taking suicidal actions, OR you have tried to hurt yourself today or made a recent suicide attempt, get help immediately by calling 999.

If you are having intense suicidal thoughts or urges, you can use the numbers below to get help:

I need to know what to do in an emergency

What Do I Do In An Emergency?

You could be faced with when working towards safety with person at risk of suicide is not possible. This could be a number of reasons, but not limited to:- if they are going to immediately act on their thoughts of suicide or it could be if a person has already taken steps to end their life. Our advice in these circumstances is very simple – seek emergency help NOW.

If you’re with a person who has taken steps or cannot stay safe, accompany them to A&E, BUT only if you can do so safely, or call an ambulance to get you there.

This is the right thing to do and is really not a waste of emergency services time as some people fear. Look at it this way If someone is having a heart attack the outcome could be death – just the same as if someone has tried to take their own life. Therefore, in this situation, calling an ambulance is the right action to take.

If you’re worried that the person you’re with or in contact with cannot stay safe or has taken steps to end their life but is struggling to engage in help for themselves – call the police on 999. This also goes for if someone is missing. 

Please don’t think this is not to get someone into trouble, it’s really not – the police have the resources to find those who are vulnerable to suicide and get help to them quickly, working alongside other emergency services across Bristol and the UK.

Have you seen or know some one is trying to end their life by suicide?

In an emergency CALL 999 – ASK for the POLICE; give them clear information that you’re worried for a person’s safety.

Information to give to call taker:-

1. Their Name (if known)

2. Their Location

3. Description – (what they are wearing, colour of hair etc)

4. Any other concerns such as:- Anything that they have said to you,or anything they have taken.

I Can’t Keep Safe Right Now

You need emergency help if you have already taken steps to end your life or if your thoughts of suicide are particularly intense right now and you feel unable to stay safe from suicide.

To get emergency help, you can visit the A&E department at local hospitals or 999 and ask for some emergency support, give them as much information as you can.

NHS 111 can advise you about where to get help such as a walk-in centre or an out of hour’s doctor. They may also have information about ‘safe spaces’ you can access in your local area when you are struggling to stay safe from suicide.

999 can support you in an emergency too, the operator can talk to you about different types of immediate support the emergency services can offer.

How Do I know If Someone Is Suicidal?

How Do I know If Someone Is Suicidal?

We know that talking about suicide is a nerve-wracking thing to do – for the person who is suicidal and for anyone who may be concerned about them.

If you are asking a loved one, family member or friend if they are suicidal, it can be distressing to learn that they feel this way and it can difficult to take in.

Lots of people we come across worry that asking and talking about suicide will make suicide more likely to happen – THIS is really NOT the case at all. Asking a direct question that requires a yes or no answer will ensure that there is no confusion and that the person will understand you are asking them about suicide and nothing else, no cross wires.

Potentially, sharing these feelings with someone for the first time may give this person a huge sense of relief. For many years, people have believed that asking about suicide could put the idea of suicide into someone’s head. – Again  THIS is really NOT the case at all, If someone is thinking of suicide, they’re already thinking about suicide. It’s not always easy to know if someone is suicidal. After all, we cannot read other people’s minds to truly understand how they are feeling in any given moment.

Sometimes though, there may be signs that a person is feeling suicidal; some signs are more obvious than others and some can be quite subtle. After all, some people may not have the skills, confidence or language to describe how they feel. Therefore, we might need to pay a little more attention than usual. Alternatively, some people may be more comfortable directly expressing their thoughts of suicide which will allow us to explore them further.

At this point I hear you speaking to your screen saying HELP me, what might the signs be?

People thinking about suicide often invite us to ask directly if suicide has become an option for them.

Trust us when we say that there is no exhaustive list of ‘invitations’ but changes in behaviour (loss of interest/withdrawal, giving away possessions), physical indicators (weight loss, lack of interest in appearance), expressing thoughts or feelings (Hopeless, sad, guilty, worthless) and the words/language being used (“I can’t take it anymore”, “Everyone would be better off without me”) could all be indicators that someone is experiencing thoughts of suicide.

The most important thing to do to ascertain if someone is struggling with thoughts of suicide is to ASK!

I need some help and support for myself

Where Can I Get Help?

Talking about our fears and feelings is really difficult – even to those we know and love. This can and does prevent other people from recognising distress and being able to help in crisis. Words are sometimes inadequate to convey the amount of pain a person may be suffering right now. It is easy to understand that someone is hurting if they have been badly injured or are physically ill. Emotional pain cannot be seen, so makes it a lot harder, but it can be as unbearable.

Who can I tell?

It is a really brave to step to open up and talk about thoughts of suicide. Have a think about who is in your life right now who you feel may be able to support you? There is a list below of some ideas of people who could support you

  • Your parents or partner
  • Your GP
  • A teacher
  • A youth worker or counsellor
  • Your friends or other family members
  • Support services and helplines

What do I say?

We know that when asking for help, it can be scary to think about what to say or even how to say it. Planning what you’re going to say and when you’re going to say it can help with this.

  • Speak to an advisor at HOPELINEUK for advice
  • Download our letter template as talking face to face can be difficult

What help is available?

We know its hard imagining what type of help or support you can access if you are feeling suicidal. as the help available can vary depending on where you live. Support might include:

  • Talking therapies such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Community Mental Health support
  • Crisis services and sanctuaries
  • Peer support
  • Local crisis lines and national helplines:


    Phone – 116 123 (free phone, available 24 hours)

    Email – jo@samaritans.org

    Web – www.samaritans.org


    Phone – 0300 123 3393 (not 24 hours)

    Text – 86463

    Web – www.mind.org.uk

    NHS 111

    If you need medical help but it is not an emergency

    Tel: 111

    Richmond Fellowship

    Quay House, The Riverside Centre, The Quay, Newport PO30 2QR

    Tel: 0330 008 3886

Our partners

  • Helplines Partnership Logo
  • National Suicide Prevention Alliance Logo
  • Zero Suicide Alliance Logo
  • Empower Develop People Logo
  • Association of Mental Health Providers Logo
  • Mental Health First Aid England Logo
  • Burges Salmon Logo
  • Bouygues Logo
  • South West Construction Logo