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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What situations or signs should you look for in someone that would indicate they are suicidal?

    My best friend is really depressed at the moment and i am worried he may do something to harm himself like committing suicide. I want to help him but i am not sure if he is suicidal or not…. what signs, behaviours, emotions should i look out for?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Lifeline is a national charity delivering 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services to all Australians. Lifeline connects people to a broad range of national … View Profile

    Be alert to any signals that a person is considering ending their life. Look for expressions that suggest a person may have thoughts about suicide, eg:

    “I don’t want to live any more”
    “I can’t deal with this anymore”
    “The world would be better off is I was dead”

    Situations where a major challenge or change has occurred in a person’s life may spark suicidal feelings and thoughts:

    • Onset of a mental health disorder or physical illness/ injury
    • Recent loss (a loved one, a job, an income/ livelihood, a relationship, a pet)
    • Major disappointment (failed exams, missed job promotions)
    • Change in relationship and family circumstances (separation/ divorce, retirement, redundancy, children leaving home)
    • Financial and/ or legal problems.
    • Suicide of a family member, friend or a public figure

  • I am a registered psychologist with many years of counselling experience in the field of relationships and fertility issues. In particular my focus is on … View Profile

    Talk to your friend and say you are aware that he is feeling very sad and low. Then ask him how bad it igets and whether he still goes out or not still enjoys anything such as activities and socialising. Has his sleeping changed.Encourage him to get professional help and to talk to his family.

    To check if he has suicidal intention You might say to him do things ever get so bad that he might think of not being here. If he says he wishes he were dead or that people would be better off without him then the best thing is to encourage him to obtain professional hellp and stay with him. If he says he has a suicidal plan tell him that he needs help and call the crisis line or lifeline Also talk to him about whether he want you to call the family. He might say yes things get bad but I would never hurt myself because of….. In that case continue to engage him and encourage him that he can get help and that depression is very treatable. His GP can give him a referral to the appropriate health professional. Be a friend in the sense that you can listen to him but if he says he is fine trust him that this is the case.
    Contact beyond blue or blackdog institute for further help or insist on a visit to his GP for referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist. The main message is that depression is treatable and that he does not have to live with it. He deseves to be happy.

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