Does someone close to you seem really down? Might they be thinking about suicide? The only way to know is to ask. It's safe to talk about suicidal feelings.
Why it’s important to ask:
If someone is suicidal, they are likely to be feeling:
cut off from everyone around them
frightened and ashamed about wanting to die
desperate for help but afraid to ask
They need someone to start the conversation for them. This shows them that they have permission to talk about it and that they don’t have to wrestle with their dark and terrible thoughts alone.
Some common fears:
“Won’t talking about suicide put the idea in their head?” No. If a person is suicidal, the idea is already there. If they aren’t suicidal, it won’t do any harm.
“What if I say the wrong thing? It could damage our relationship.” Showing a person you care about them won’t damage your relationship. Saying nothing could result in losing them forever.
It’s important to trust your gut instincts. If something about the person doesn’t look or feel right, say something.
Saying something is safer than saying nothing. Saying the words won’t make it happen.
Suicide is rare, but... It happens. There are over 6,000 deaths by suicide in the UK every year – an average of 16 per day.
Don’t think: “They're not the suicidal type.” There isn’t one.
Sometimes, we want to be there for someone but don't know how to start. We recommend that if you're worried about someone, you try talking to them. It's okay if you're not an expert – just listening can help someone work through what's on their mind.
Find out more about the Samaritans SHUSH tips to help you give the best support you can.
Read more about Suicide Prevention Day and how to connect.
Support is always available:
Samaritans: 116 123 (free, for everyone, 24/7)
Somewhere To Turn (our free, online peer support and signposting service)
CALM: 0800 585858 (free, for men, 5pm-midnight)
PAPYRUS: 0800 968 4141 (free, for young people, 9am-10pm Mon-Fri, 2pm-10pm at the weekend)
Crisis Text Line: text SHOUT to 85258