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World Suicide Prevention Day: Helping Someone Who’s Suicidal

Written By HealthKart

World Suicide Prevention Day

It may be a very difficult situation to deal with when someone says they are feeling suicidal, or you notice signs that they are thinking about it. You may also be confused as to the right way to help a suicidal person or intervene in this situation but the best decision is to always act to try to motivate a suicidal person since they must be dealing with a bad mental health. This World Suicide Prevention Day, we would like to bring your focus on the ways in which you can save a life by helping someone who’s suicidal. 

Ways to Help Those Who are Suicidal

This World Suicide Prevention Day, we need you to be aware and create awareness about the different ways in which you can lend a helping hand to those who need it the most:

1. Strike a Conversation

The initial way can be to put forth questions to understand whether the person is going to act on suicidal thoughts. It is important to be careful but you can ask questions like:

i What are you dealing with currently in your life?

ii How are you dealing with whatever is happening in life?

iii Lately, have you been feeling like giving up?

iv Are you having self-harming thoughts?

It is important to ask, as asking a person who is feeling suicidal might actually help them open up about their feelings and help them unload their baggage to seek help. It may also bring down suicidal thoughts and diminish the risk of an attempt.

2. Notice the Behaviour

It is not necessary that a person will show any actions if they are considering suicide but some common traits are:

i Making statements about death, e.g. “I wish I didn’t have to wake up another day, I wish I was never born.”

ii Stocking up pills or ammunition. These are generally the means by which one attempts suicide.

iii Isolating themselves and disconnecting from people, not responding to calls or routines.

iv Having constant mood changes, from being happy to sad, calm to anxious – all in a matter of a day

v Watching or reading material related to violence, death, or suicide

vi Substance abuse is a means to cope with feelings

vii Disruption of normal routine, insomnia, and decreased appetite

viii Engaging in behaviour that is self-destructive like overspeeding or doing drugs

ix Trying to make a will or giving belongings away without any reason

x Writing goodbye letters or talking to people as if they won’t meet again

xi Sudden changes in personality, extreme aggression, panic attacks, or anxiety

How to Help if Someone has Tried to Take Their Life?

Given below are the ways in which you can provide help to those who have made an attempt to take their life:

  1. Keep the person under supervision, leaving them alone might lead to another attempt
  2. Call the emergency number immediately or if possible, take the person to the nearest hospital to a mental health professional
  3. Figure out the external triggers like alcohol or drugs that the person may have consumed to aid the process
  4. Inform a friend or a family about the situation

What to Do If You Think a Person will Attempt Suicide?

If you believe that a person is planning to add on suicidal thoughts, seek help:

  1. Try and engage a professional for steps to be undertaken. If advised, take the person to the hospital
  2. Talk to the person to call suicide hotline numbers 
  3. Try and encourage the person to consult a psychiatrist

Offer Support at All Times

Given below are the ways in which you can ensure how to be available or constantly supportive to those dealing with suicidal thoughts: 

  1. Motivate a suicidal person to seek help in all forms. Suicidal people do not have the motivation or energy to go another day. But it is also important to understand that you are not an expert, so do not give out such advice that may do more harm than good.
  2. Allow them to communicate with you and do not make them feel invalidated or guilty for feeling a certain way. Listen more than talk; it is important to ensure that they have someone to count on and reach out to.
  3. Help them engage in social groups and physical activity that will allow the person to clear their mind.
  4. Never make promises to keep their feelings a secret if you apprehend that the person is self-harming or planning to attempt suicide.
  5. Don’t allow the person to consume drugs or alcohol; it will further aggravate the feelings.
  6. Remove any objects that you may think the person will use to harm themselves.

Take All Signs Seriously

It is important to understand that a person who makes an attempt to take or has ended up taking their life has in one way or the other expressed their desire to do the same. It may sometimes seem like you may be overreacting to the situation at hand but prevention is always better than cure. It is important to take such thoughts expressed by the concerned person seriously.

Numerous types of research suggest that when someone is close to attempting suicide, they start feeling a sense of disassociation with others and even their own intrinsic emotions as if they are living in a bubble of their own. Sometimes, people show all the signs of distress and sometimes they don’t. The simplest way at that moment is to allow them to vent and to bring their attention back to reality in order to make them understand that they are surrounded by people who love them. It is important to instil in them a sense of validation and security.


It is important to keep a suicidal person safe by removing them from dangerous surroundings and keeping them company. The best way would be to call for an ambulance if you are not physically present with the person or ask someone close to take care of the person for the time being. This World Suicide Prevention Day, let’s understand that every life is precious and do our bit to keep our near and dear ones from taking a drastic step.

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