Suicidal Thoughts: How do you support someone?

On World Suicide Prevention Day After the Storm’s managing partner Nicola Green shares her experince of being impacted by suicide and how she gave and found support.

A couple of years ago, a close friend was experiencing a deep depression which resulted in dark feelings, reducing capacity to take care of themselves and later on, suicidal thoughts. 

Thankfully, as we lived together at the time, I was able to stay with them and turn to my friends who worked as mental health nurses. They helped me figure out what I needed to do to give them the Support they needed. In this particular case it was ordering a taxi,  getting my friend to A&E as quickly as possible, to get them assessed and ensure they had access to the services available to support their crisis.

Sitting in that cab on the way to the hospital, trying to keep my friend calm, help them feel safe and secure as well as frantically texting my amazing mental heath nurse friends was one of the most terrifying and most intense times of my life. Having extremely little experience of “real life” mental health crises up to that point, I was completely adrift in terms of what the best course of action was.

Since then, I’ve had a number of close friends experience, and sadly, act upon suicidal thoughts. The aftermath of suicide, is a horrific and harrowing experience and since After The Storm has formed it has been amazing to discover the charities and service providers helping people to deal with their own suicidal thoughts or maybe their loved ones going through this. 

As a founding member of After The Storm, the key for me is giving people access to relevant services and support when they are experiencing or supporting someone through a crisis.

Had I known about the likes of Papyrus and their helpline Hopeline, I would have felt much more able to support those friends who needed help and also those dealing with the aftermath of suicide.

Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK and it is essential that we all raise the conversation and reduce the chances of losing our loved ones to suicide so today and every day, make time to ask how someone is. How are they really feeling? If you’re concerned, there are plenty of resources to help you figure out what to do next.

For those experiencing dark thoughts or supporting someone who is, you are not alone.

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