The advice ‘WAIT’ is one good way to remember how you can support another person who may be suicidal. It stands for:
Watch out for signs of distress and uncharacteristic behaviour
- e.g. social withdrawal, excessive quietness, irritability, uncharacteristic outburst, talking about death or suicide
Ask “are you having suicidal thoughts?”
- Asking about suicide does not encourage it, nor does it lead a person to start thinking about it; in fact it may help prevent it, and can start a potentially life-saving conversation
It will pass – assure your loved one that, with help, their suicidal feelings will pass with time
Talk to others – encourage your loved one to seek help from a GP or health professional
Prevention is something that we can all individually help with. You have all the experience you need to help save a life.
This is the main message of the Samaritan's Save A Life Campaign:
A short conversation with another person can sometimes be enough to make the difference between life and death for them.
Other sources of help include:
- Samaritans offer a 24-hours a day, 7 days a week support service. Call them FREE on 116 123. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Papyrus is a dedicated service for people up to the age of 35 who are worried about how they are feeling or anyone concerned about a young person. You can call the HOPElineUK number on 0800 068 4141, text 07786 209697 or email email@example.com
- NHS Choices: 24-hour national helpline providing health advice and information. Call them free on 111.
- C.A.L.M.: National helpline for men to talk about any troubles they are feeling. Call 0800 58 58 58.
- Support After Suicide Partnership offers practical and emotional support on their website for people bereaved and affected by suicide.