Anybody can help with preventing suicide and suicidal distress. The more people involved, the better.
Widening your network of support - having more people to help - is important whether you are feeling suicidal yourself, or supporting someone else.
It is important that…
…You find support for yourself. This is not just for your benefit; it is not helpful for the person you are supporting if you are feeling exhausted or overwhelmed.
…You don’t promise to keep someone’s suicidal thoughts or feelings a secret from everyone else. If you do, and you need to break your promise at some point, you may lose their trust. This is something you can discuss and talk about together.
…You try to work together with the person you are supporting to involve more people in your network of care. You can tell one or more family members, your GP, one or both of your HR departments at work, a good neighbour, and so on. You can vary how much you say according to their involvement – you don’t have to tell everything to everyone!
It is important to remember that...
... Others might have difficult feelings as a result of your telling them about your suicidal feelings, but that doesn't mean that you are a burden. Difficult feelings can be expected, and can be coped with.
You can help yourself and others by…
…Acknowledging it’s difficult to talk about. You may even share some of the same feelings, such as anxiety or apprehension, about having the conversation. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it; though it may not be easy, it can be coped with.
…Not asking them to keep your suicidal feelings a secret. This is not the same as telling everybody! You can decide together who to talk to.
…Encouraging them to find support for themselves. Maybe you can think together about how you can both find support.