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If someone has thoughts and feelings about suicide, it’s important to take them seriously.
If someone has attempted suicide or is in an emotional crisis, they may need emergency medical attention.
Call your local mental health crisis assessment team or go with them to the emergency department (ED) at your nearest hospital.
If they are an immediate physical danger to themselves or others, call 111.
If you're worried that someone might be thinking about suicide, don't be afraid to ask them directly.
A person who is thinking about suicide might not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. They might feel ashamed of how they're feeling, like they don't deserve help, or like no-one can help them. People who feel suicidal often feel like they are alone and that their family, whānau and friends would be better off without them. Most people who attempt suicide don’t want to die – they just want their pain to end or can't see another way out of their situation.
Lots of people feel suicidal at some time in their lives. It can be impossible to have hope that things will get better.
Support from people who care about them, and connection with their own sense of culture, identity and purpose, can help them to find a way through.
Most people who are feeling suicidal or thinking about killing themself will try to let someone know, but they often won't say so directly.
If someone shows one or more of these signs, it doesn't necessarily mean they are suicidal, but they may need support. You might notice they are:
Some people who are suicidal might not show these signs, and some of these signs may not be obvious. People who feel suicidal might try to hide what they are going through or pretend they are okay.
If you think that someone might be at risk, pay attention to changes in their behavior, trust your instincts and ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide.
If you are worried that someone is suicidal, ask them. It could save their life. Asking about suicide in a supportive way will not put the thought in their head, and it will help them to know you care and take them seriously.
If someone has attempted suicide or you're worried about their immediate safety, do the following:
If you're supporting someone who is suicidal, don't try to handle the situation by yourself. Seek support from professionals, and from other people they trust including family, whānau or friends.
When someone is recovering after they have made a suicide attempt, or have felt suicidal, be prepared to be there, offer support and stay involved. Recovery can take time.
It’s important for you to look after yourself - make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating properly and relaxing.
Confidential Helpline: 0508 82 88 65
Provides support, information and resources to people at risk of suicide, family/whānau, friends affected by suicide and people supporting someone with suicidal thoughts and/or suicidal behaviours. Provided by Lifeline Aotearoa.
Confidential Helpline: 0800 376 633
Youthline provides free phone, text, and email counselling support. Its website has great information for youth dealing with challenging situations including how to cope with suicidal thoughts and feelings.
This information is for whānau, families, friends, colleagues, teachers and classmates of people who are distressed or showing suicidal behaviours (eg,attempted suicide, self-harm and suicidal thinking).
Developed under the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project, this online resource aims to help anyone who a young person confides in about supporting their wellbeing, including support for mild to moderate mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and mild depression.
The Guidelines are designed to support people ‘walking alongside’ a young person to help them access mental health advice and support.
Information about the series, how to talk about some of the heavy issues it raises, and how to get support if you need it.