If you are worried about someone and you are not sure if he/she is thinking about suicide, you can
- Show that you care and be there for the person
- Help the person-at-risk to express his/her needs, hopelessness, frustration, etc
- Ask openly and directly if the person is thinking of harming or killing himself/herself
- Be accepting, patient and gentle
- Check if the person is connected to professional help. If necessary, assist to make arrangements and/or accompany him/her to see a counsellor/doctor
- Encourage the person to contact SOS
- Get help from other people
- Keep in touch with the person
- Promise to keep the person's suicidal thoughts a secret
- Dismiss what they say
- Make moral judgements or argue about whether suicide is right or wrong
- Give advice that wasn't asked for
- Give false assurances
- Tell the person about your own problem
- Say things like "It's wrong to feel suicidal" or "Pull yourself together; I know lots of people who are worse off than you"
Some people can act on suicidal thoughts on impulse, sometimes after a significant and stressful event. In some cases, people may have been planning their suicide for some time. If you are worried someone may turn thoughts of suicide into action, ensure that suicide methods are not available to the individual. For example,
- Make sure that doors and windows are locked. Most suicides in Singapore are done by jumping from high rise places.
- Substances that can be used as poison should be kept out of reach
- Keep knives, ropes and any other object which may be used to hurt oneself out of reach.
Involve family and friends in monitoring the person and in being there for him/her.
It is also very important that you take care of yourself. Talk to someone if you are feeling any distress after talking to the person who is feeling suicidal.