If you, or someone you know needs crisis support, call Lifeline now on 13 11 14.
If life is in immediate danger call 000.
Suicide is a complex issue that many people feel uncomfortable or unprepared to discuss.
But it’s something we, as a community, need to keep making steps towards becoming more comfortable talking about.
The most important thing we can do is help those experiencing suicidal thoughts feel less alone and more able to open up about what is going on. Educating ourselves on the subject is one way to establish more confidence to have an ‘RUOK’ discussion with a friend, and there are so many amazing and helpful resources available to help us with this.
Don’t hesitate reaching out to a friend because you can’t ‘fix the problem’. You don’t need to be a professional to help, the first step is to be willing to listen and help them find the support they need. It’s ok that it may feel uncomfortable, but don’t let the fear of this stop you.
If you feel a friend or loved one may be going through some mental health challenges, or experiencing suicidal thoughts, starting the conversation is a great step you could take. Here are some ways you could start the conversation.
- “I’ve noticed that you haven’t been yourself lately, is everything ok with you?”
- “I’m worried about you. I’m wondering if we can talk about what’s troubling you?”
- “You’ve seemed really (down/sad/angry/unhappy) lately. I’m worried that you might be thinking of hurting yourself or suicide. Can we talk about this?”
Remember that you don’t need to be ready with answers or solutions, be willing to listen and encourage them to access professional support.
Using the right words?
In our aim to reduce the stigma associated around suicide, we can take more care and re-educate ourselves regarding what language is appropriate to use.
It may not be easy to initiate difficult conversations with friends and loved ones, but may be some of the most important conversations you could have.
Familiarise yourself with information and support services, and let us continue supporting those affected by suicide.
More help and guidance
Supporting Someone Who May be Suicidal (Suicide Call Back Service)