What should you do if you suspect your friend is depressed or suicidal?
You may feel shocked, angry, helpless and panicked, or even scared that your words would hurt his/her feelings that would affect what will happen next.
Please remember that your response could cause a huge impact to your friend.
How to talk to a suicidal person
- Stay calm, be patient & LISTEN
“I know it must be very hard for you to feel like this. You could tell me what’s happened, maybe you will feel better.”
“I totally understand how you feel right now, I was depressed once. But I won’t think of killing myself.”
- Show your care, encourage your friend(s) to talk about his/her feelings
“I can’t imagine how you are feeling right now, but I want you to know that I care and you’re not alone in this.”
- Support or help your friend(s) to get help
You may find it difficult to understand what your friend has said, or you may have the fear you can’t actually help your friend(s) with his/her problems. You can just be honest about your limitation and tell him/her that you are willing to be their companion and help them seek the professional help.
“I’m really worried about you. If you don’t have a therapist, I can help you find one. Don’t worry, I won’t leave you to the professionals. I’m still here to support you.”
- Be accepting, don’t judge or argue
“Suicide is wrong! Do you know you have so much to live for?!”
“Why do you want to kill yourself? Have you thought of your family and friends? You’re being a selfish coward.”
- Don’t put a label on your friend(s)
“Are you out of your mind? Suicide? You must be insane.”
If there is any life-threatening situation, please call 999!
For more information about risk factor and warning signs, please read this.