Talking to someone who has attempted suicide is similar to talking to someone who has suicidal ideation or intent. Its the importance of listening non judgmentally and allowing the person to know they are supported and accepted, heard and understood. Its not difficult and there is nothing to be afraid of. However. You maybe finding it difficult to know how to support someone who has attempted suicide because you feel you don’t know what to say or do, you may feel worried that you will say the wrong thing. It can be extremely difficult to find the right words when you’re feeling overwhelmed and upset, You may even feel confused.
The important thing is to try and create an environment where the person feels safe, supported, and understood. Letting the person know you support them, and asking open-ended questions, can help ease the communication. Starting the conversation need not be hard.
First, you want to ensure that the person is safe. Remove possible means to harm or suicide, including drugs and alcohol.. Also Remember that you are not filling the role of a counselor or therapist. You are looking to encourage them to access professional support that is available to them and don't feel you must do it all alone, ask for the help of others to help support the person.
These are just some examples.
It also is important for you to be aware of your own feelings, and avoid reacting in any way that could block communication or cause the person to withdraw or cause further pain.
Unhelpful responses include:
Be available and let the person know you will listen. It is important to create a safe space for the person to talk – this helps build or re-establish trust between you and the person you are concerned about. Know that asking someone directly about suicide does not trigger suicidal ideation or action, it is often the most effective way to open up constructive conversation that will give them permission to talk while feeling you understand.
Things you can do together.
If you are in college, school or sports academy and a friend attempts suicide or has thoughts of harming themselves, reach out to your welfare or safeguarding officer and get help from confidential resources. Being far away from family can feel like you have to fill the parent role. Remember that there are several resources in the community that will support you both.
Supporting someone who has attempted suicide can be emotionally draining and exhausting. It is not possible to be there and watch over someone 24/7. So It is vital that you look after yourself and get the support you need too. You do not need to deal with this alone. So make sure you have adequate support in place for yourself. Identify trusted family members or friends that you can talk to, or join a local support group. If you are finding it difficult to deal with, you may also wish to consider seeking counseling or other professional support for yourself.
Samaritans 116 123
Calm 0800 585858
Papyrus 0800 0684141
Young Minds (text) 85258
Remember its ok to talk about suicide!