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!
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.
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:
If you’re in a crisis
National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK
National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK is a helpline offering a supportive listening service to anyone with thoughts of suicide.
We are open from 6pm to 3:30am everyday on 0800 689 5652. Anybody is welcome to call us if you need to talk.
Our helpline is here to support you when you feel you need us.
Phone: 0800 6898 5652 (free helpline open from 6pm to 3:30am everyday)?
Website:?National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK?
Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in?crisis?anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
Text: 85258 (24 hours)
For people under 35 struggling with suicidal feelings.
Phone: 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm)
Text: 07786 209 697
General mental health and support lines
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably. Their helpline is for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.
Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.?
Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)?
Rethink Mental Illness
Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)
Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most:?www.sane.org.uk/textcare
Peer support forum:www.sane.org.uk/supportforum
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Emotional support, advice and information particularly for people who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at risk or experiencing any form of abuse. Subjects include relationships, child abuse, anger, bullying, eating disorders, self-harm, domestic violence, rape and sexual assault. Emotional support is provided by telephone, email and post.
Phone: 01708 765200
Here at EPiC HOPE, we are driven to do our part in making the world a better place. Since 2022, we have been planning a way that we can drive real change for suicide prevention and intervention.
Website: Home - Epic Hope Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andys Man Club
ANDYSMANCLUB are a men’s suicide prevention charity, offering free-to-attend peer-to-peer support groups across the United Kingdom and online. We want to end the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and help men through the power of conversation. #ITSOKAYTOTALK
Website:Andy's Man Club | #ITSOKAYTOTALK | Andy's Man Club (andysmanclub.co.uk)
Talk Club is a talking and listening club for men,
offering talking groups, sports groups and therapy to help keep you mentally fit. It’s a simple medicine that starts with asking – How are you? Out of 10? By checking in regularly with yourself and other men, Talk Club creates a community that we are all missing in today’s world
Website: Home – Talk Club
Website: Home - Kooth
Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.?
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm)?
Text: 07537 416905
Voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and?obsessive compulsive?disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome your phobia or OCD.?
Phone: 0300 7729844 (daily, 10am to 10pm)
A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder.?
Email or use web-chat to arrange a peer support chat.
Support for people with OCD, carers and anyone who is concerned about OCD or a related disorder. Includes information on treatment and online resources.?
Phone: 0300 636 5478 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 8pm). Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone provider’s Access Charge?
A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.?
Phone: 0333 212 7890 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)?
Gambling & addiction
Phone: 0800 917 7650 (24-hour helpline)?
National Gambling Helpline?
Phone: 0808 8020 133 (daily, 8am to midnight)?
Phone: 0300 999 1212 (daily, 10am to midnight)?
Beat Eating Disorders
Eating disorder helpline – offers a supportive space for people to explore their feelings and thoughts around eating disorders. Provide information about eating disorders and signpost to services that can help.
Helpline: 0808 801 0677
Studentline: 0808 801 0811
Youthline: 0808 801 0711
Helplines open 365 days a year from 12.00pm-8.00pm during the week and 4,00pm-8.00pm weekends and bank holidays
Adult email support is open to anyone over 18: email@example.com
Studentline email support is open to all students: firstname.lastname@example.org
Youthline email support is open to anyone under 18: email@example.com
For people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Helpline: 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day)
Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.
Runs a free support line for anyone who identifies as LGBT. Currently supporting people who are worried about the coronavirus and need support with their wellbeing during this time.
Helpline: 0345 3 30 30 30
Lines open 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 10am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Muslim Community Helpline
Confidential, non-judgemental listening and emotional support service.
Helpline: 020 8908 6715 and 020 8904 8193?
Open Monday to Thursday 10 am to 1 pm, Friday 10 am to 4 pm?(core hours)
Male counsellor available 6-8 PM (please email for appointment).
The Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH)
A charity which provides pioneering faith and culturally sensitive services to Muslim youth in the UK.
Helpline: 0808 808 2008
Open 7 days a week, 4pm-10pm, 365 days a year including Bank Holidays and Eid.
Phone: 0800 6529249
Sunday-Thursday 12.00 pm to 12.00 am
Friday 12.00pm-3.00pm in Winter
Friday 12,00pm-6,00pm in Summer
Helpline providing a listening service, information, emotional and spiritual support from a Christian perspective
Phone: 0300 111 0101
Young Minds Parents’ helpline
Confidential online and telephone support, including information and advice, to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25.
Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544
Juno Women’s Aid
24 hour freephone helpline providing support to women with or without children affected by domestic violence and abuse. Range of support services for women and children including refuges, outreach, drop in children’s services and a pet fostering service. The Team is experienced in working with women from all backgrounds including Black, Minority Ethnic and Refugee communities. Can also deal with honour-based violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, unsettled immigration status and no recourse to public funds.
Phone: 0808 800 0340
Confidential and anonymous helpline run by women offering emotional support, listening and signposting for women affected by self-injury. Calls are not recorded, and no personal information is passed on. Helpline number will not appear on telephone bills and is free to call from mobiles and landlines.
Helpline: 0808 800 8088
For callers under 25. Get support via email, 1-2-1 chat or Crisis Messenger
Phone: 0808 808 4994 (7 days a week, 3pm–12 midnight)
Provide emotional support to students in distress. The telephones are manned throughout the night during term time when other specialist university welfare services are closed. Nightline is confidential and anonymous. It can help with issues including academic stress, bullying, debt, loneliness, depression, bereavement, arguments with flatmates, concerns about friends, addictions, eating disorders or self-harm, relationship and family problems, sexuality, sexual abuse or abortion.
Search website for UK-wide contacts: www.nightline.ac.uk
This is a service provided by the NSPCC for children and young people under the age of 19.
Phone: 0800 1111. The number will not show on phone bills
Cruse Bereavement Care
Offers support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.
Phone: 0808 808 1677 (Open Monday-Friday 9.30-5pm – excluding bank holidays – with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when the line is open until 8pm.)
The Compassionate Friends
UK National Helpline open every day of the year from 10:00am-4.00pm and 7.00pm- 10:00pm
Phone: 0345 123 2304
Sobs – Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide
National helpline and other support services run by a self-help group for people bereaved by suicide. Helpline provides listening support and will put people in touch with their nearest local group. Monthly group meetings in various locations.
Phone: 0300 111 5065