Prevent Suicide
How to help someone experiencing suicidal thoughts
It can be very challenging for someone you care about to be struggling with suicidal thoughts or feelings. But there are some simple things you can do to help support them.
Stay calm
If someone you care about is feeling suicidal it is natural to feel upset, worried, confused, upset or angry. But what is usually most helpful to your loved one is for you to try to stay as calm as you can so that you can be there for them.
Don’t be afraid to talk about it
Many people worry that asking about or talking about suicide will make things worse or make it more likely that someone will act on these thoughts. This is not the case; and often being able to speak about their suicidal thoughts or feelings can make the person feel more supported and less hopeless.
The most valuable thing you can do to support someone who is feeling suicidal is listen to them. There can often be a strong urge to come up with solutions or jump into action, but just listening, being with them, and letting them know you care can be among the most helpful things you can do.
Think with them about what will help
It is important to respect that each of us are experts in our own experience - we usually know best what we will find helpful and what we won’t. Try to come up with some ideas together about what to do next; both in the short term to keep them safe right now, and in the longer term to access the help and support they might need. You can use the Safety Plan template below to help with this conversation.
Make the environment safer
If the person is worried that they might not be able to keep themselves safe, try to make the space around them safer by removing things they might use to hurt themselves. If possible, identify someone who can stay with them while they are feeling risky.
Spend positive time together
In the longer term, look for ways to do things together that you both enjoy. This can help ensure your relationship with them does not just become focused on their difficulties, and keep you both feeling connected.
Know your own limits
It can feel very difficult to say no to things when someone is struggling but like everyone, you have limits to what you can do - and that’s ok! It is much better to be clear from the start about what you can and can’t do.
Encourage them to seek help, for example:
iCall (+91 9152987821), a free professional counseling service available over telephone, email and chat ( from Monday-Saturday, between 8AM-10PM.

Visit our Instagram page @itsoktotalk for more options for helplines to contact. If they are willing, you can look together into what local services are available and even go with them for their first visit if they would find this helpful.
Make a “Safety plan”
It can be useful to make a Safety Plan to support yourself at times when you are thinking about suicide. This is personal to you, your own step-by-step guide for what to do in a crisis. You can use the template below or create your own. Try to make a plan when you can think clearly about what you find helpful. You might want to prepare the plan with a friend, family member or therapist and can give them a copy to keep too if you would find that helpful.
Safety Plan Template
My warning signs
What thoughts, images, feelings or behaviours might be warning signs that my mood is getting worse?
People I can call
Names and numbers of friends, family or services I can call
My coping options
What have I done in the past that has helped me to feel better or cope with difficult thoughts and feelings?
Places I can go
Safe places I can go if I do not feel able to keep myself safe at home
Message to myself
Write a message to give yourself some hope, reassurance or encouragement when you are struggling