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When a friend is suicidal

My friend/ex- boyfriend is having suicidal thoughts and friends are looking at me to fix everything. can someone please tell me what I can do? He's just seemed really down, and has started talking about suicide a lot. he won't tell anyone why. His older broher is asking me to find out, and all our friends are asking me too. He's started opening up to me, but not enough that I really know what's going on and how I can help him. I really want to help him, and I've been trying to understand what's going on, but I have so much going on in my personal life that it's making I even more stressful, and I don't think I can handle it on my own, espescially if he hurts himself.

Re: When a friend is suicidal

Hey @Starlight03 first of all I's like to thank you for reaching out to us on here, I can tell that you really care for your friend and want to be of help while they're going through what seems to be a very difficult time for them. I'm glad that you feel comfortable enough to ask for help on here. I know that you also said that they're your ex so I'm aware that you guys are probably close which probably means that this is disturbing for you as well to see them go through this. I want to start with checking in with how you're feeling, often when people close to us talk about suicide, it can bring up things for ourselves or make us feel uncomfortable..how are you doing with what they've told you? Have you considered talking to a counsellor or ringing a helpline like the Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) to talk about what your friend's going through? I would really encourage you to ring in because as well as talking about how you're feeling, they are equipped with training to help talk you through the steps to take to try to keep your friend safe.

 

However, I can try to give you a quick summary to try to give you some direction here. I would start by encouraging them to talk to a counsellor or GP face to face, or offer to help them ring a helpline if they're feeling more comfortable with that. Don't be afraid of asking the question straight out, which I know is hard and awkward but if you're worried about it often it can help if someone asks them so as to let them know that you are OK to talk about this if thats what they need. If they confirm that they've been thinking about it, please try to refer them to helplines like LifeLine on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 65 94 67. These are national helplines and both have chatlines as well, if you want to encourage them to take a smaller step to get help instead.

 

If however, they don't agree to call up, it's very important to ask  some questions to determine whether they're in immediate danger and you need to call somebody to keep them safe. Here's a quick summary:

  • Do they want to suicide?
  • If yes, do they have a plan to put this into action? (this could be anything that could hurt them) 
  • If they confirm they have a plan it's important to know if they have the means to carry out the plan (this could be whether they have access to something that could hurt them)
  • What is the timeframe that they plan to act upon this plan? (a specific date or time or immediately) At this stage I would highly highly reccommend that you try to get them to call one fo the helplines or if you think that they're in immediate danger, you need to call 000 to get help immediately. 

Also, bare in mind that if you're comfortable with it, it might help to offer to come with them to the counsellor or sit with them while they ring a helpline as well? Hope this helps, and please remember to care for yourself too, this is all quite heavy stuff to deal with and practicing self-care is so so important! Let us know how you go with everything.

 

Re: When a friend is suicidal

Hey @Starlight03!

Whoa, that was a lot to talk about. How do you feel about all this?

Re: When a friend is suicidal

okay @Ben-RO, I'm just trying to process everything at the moment. I don't think he's in immediate danger, but I do think that it's a very fragile situation. he seems to be happy a the moment, but he's still kind of distant and I'm worried that one little thing will tip the scales again. I'm keeping a close eye on him for now, and if anything changes I'll figure out what I shuld do then. I don't want to approach him about it when he's feeling so much better because I don't want it to make him feel worse again. 

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Re: When a friend is suicidal

Hey @Starlight03, how did you go with this? Is everything ok?

Re: When a friend is suicidal

All you can do is support them, and shower them with positivity and kind words.
Direct them to a professional whom they can speak to. 

Good luck. Heart

Re: When a friend is suicidal

Hi @Starlight03

just wanted to check up on you and see how you're doing? How's the situation now? 

Re: When a friend is suicidal

It's actually a lot better! At first when i tried to reach out he got angry and was avoiding me and told me not to talk to him, but eventually he came around and is talking to me more than ever, and he's told me that he's doing a lot better. Most importantly, he seems happy now, and I'm soo glad that it seems like my friend is slowly coming back. Thanks RO for all your help!!

Re: When a friend is suicidal

And to top it all off, we'd been having a bit of a rocky patch before he started feeling bad, he was angry at me and we were kind of in a fight, and now we seem to be even better than before! I'm really happy I have him back now, I really missed talking to him, and it was worse when he was feeling depressed and I couldn't help.

Re: When a friend is suicidal

Hi @Starlight03!
It sounds like you're being a great support to your friend! I'm so glad that it's starting to get betterSmiley Very Happy