It's World Suicide Prevention Day today with the theme of 'creating hope through action'. Our partner and mental health specialist, Lee Morris, has shared his thoughts along with some practical tips to start a supportive conversation with someone. Lee says, "Having a conversation with someone who might be having suicidal thoughts can be difficult but it might just be what they need. If you've noticed that someone isn't themself, why not start a conv ersation? Here are some tips:
Consider the best time and location for a conversation. This should include privacy and somewhere without distractions. But try not to put off the conversation.
Use open questions that need more than a yes/no answer - ‘How are things? I’ve noticed you don’t seem quite yourself.’
Don't be afraid to ask directly about if they are having suicidal thoughts.
Listen well. ‘How’s that making you feel?’
Don't be judgemental or try to minimise their feelings.
Avoid giving your view of what’s wrong or what they should do.
Make sure they know that you genuinely care, are concerned, and want to help.
Ask if they have spoken to anyone else. Could they speak to their family?
Offer support and information. There are lots of great organisations that can help such as:
📱 Samaritans - call 116 123 📱 CALM helpline (5pm-midnight) - call 0800 585858 📱 Papyrus (prevention of young suicide) - call 0800 0684141 📱 SHOUT - text 'SHOUT' to 85258
Make sure you say that you are always around if they want to chat and follow-up with them.
If you think they might be in immediate danger, don't leave them and get help. This could involve calling 999."