Help someone I know

This is a good place to start if you’re exploring information about suicide and suicide prevention but don’t necessarily have any direct experience or knowledge of it.

You might want to be better informed about it so that you can be ready to help your friends and loved ones during a time of crisis.

There are some key things you can do to promote suicide prevention, including understanding the warning signs that someone might be vulnerable and also helping them to obtain information and support when they need it.

Talking is really important. So you should visit the comprehensive online resource Conversations Matter which will help you learn more about suicide and suicide prevention, and which will give you tips on how to have conversations about this difficult but important issue.

If you’re worried about your child, beyondblue has a family guide to youth suicide prevention to help you be aware of the warning signs and risk factors of suicide so that you will be able to help your child find support.

You may be surprised to know that just about everyone has considered suicide, however fleetingly, at one time or another.

There’s no danger of ‘giving someone the idea'. In fact, it can be a great relief if you bring the question of suicide into the open, and discuss it freely without showing shock or disapproval.

Raising the question of suicide shows that you are taking your friend or loved one seriously and responding to their distress.

A suicide crisis, or potential suicide, is when a person is trying to kill themselves or is seriously contemplating or planning to do so. It’s considered an emergency that needs immediate intervention.

If you feel someone’s life is in danger, call emergency on 000.

If someone you know needs urgent crisis counselling, there are several free 24/7 telephone services including Lifeline on 13 11 14 and the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. And remember…

  • Take all threats seriously
  • Ask the person to tell you what is wrong
  • Listen and offer support
  • Remove anything that could be dangerous
  • Don’t leave the suicidal person alone
  • Be positive and point out choices
  • Don’t promise confidentiality
  • Get professional help.

If you know someone who has lost a family member, friend or loved one to suicide, information available at the Conversations Matter website will help you talk with them. And there are some helpful Do’s and Don’ts you should be aware of.