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Friends

Are you worried about a friend or a mate?

Have they:

  • hurt themselves?
  • said they feel like hurting themselves?
  • said or done things that have made you suspect they're thinking of taking their own life?

'Yes' to any of these? You're right to be worried

This is how you can help:

Be there for them

Tell them that you really care what happens to them.

Try to get them to tell you about it.

Listen carefully - don't interrupt or make fun of them or judge them.

Let them know that you're trying to understand how they're feeling, you're taking it seriously and that you really want to help.

Try to persuade them to talk to someone else -

  • mum, dad, their partner or someone in their family
  • the doctor
  • counsellor
  • someone they can trust
  • an advisor on the PAPYRUS helpline - HOPELineUK

Offer to go with them for company when they go looking for help.

If you're very worried you must tell someone yourself. Phone HOPELineUK for further advice.

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Things you should know

Sometimes people harm themselves (usually by cutting their skin) to help ease the mental pain they may be suffering.
They're not doing it to kill themselves.
But it's still serious and they need help.

It's OK to talk about feelings.
Talking about suicide doesn't make it more likely to happen.
Bringing it out into the open can actually help.

Young people can be easily influenced by other people's suicides - especially if it's another young person.
It doesn't matter whether it was someone they knew or a famous person.

You don't have to be depressed to be suicidal.
Sometimes these feelings come because of sad or bad things that have happened in a person's life.

People sometimes 'play' with the thought of killing themselves - it's always there as an option. So, when times are bad they are at risk.

If you're already depressed using drugs or drink to make you feel better can actually make you feel much worse.

Young people are far more likely than adults to do something on impulse.

Drugs - including cannabis - and alcohol can make people do something on the spur of the moment.

Sometimes young people who are feeling suicidal - especially young men - take chances and do risky or dangerous things.

Some websites are brilliant for helping you get through a bad patch.
Others are very dangerous because they encourage suicide.

People who are suffering from a mental illness can sometimes become suicidal.
There are medicines and treatment to make them feel better.

There's a lot of help and hope out there - we can advise you on how to help your friend to find it!