In the UK, suicide is responsible for nearly 6000 deaths a year. Founder of the Suicide Crisis Centre, Joy Hibbins, who tried to take her own life, shares her thoughts on how to help a loved one
1 Tell them how much they're valued
Let them know how much they matter to you and to everyone that cares about them. A person who is feeling suicidal may be depressed and this distorts their thinking. They may feel that they are a burden and that people would be better off without them.
2 Emphasise their special qualities
Focus on all the things that make them unique and special — all their good qualities, their personality traits — the things they contribute to the world. All these would be lost if the person died. Someone who is depressed will often feel they are worthless. They may no longer be able to see anything positive in themselves and what they bring to the world.
3 Let them know you want to help
Make sure they know you are there for them and that you want to help. You may fear that you don’t know the right things to say, or that you’ll say the wrong things. The most important message to give to the person is that you care, and that you want to help.
4 Seek advice and support
Encourage them to seek other help with your support. Offer to call their GP. Contact a doctor or a crisis service yourself, if they feel they can’t or if they don’t want to. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, call the NHS number 111 and seek their advice.
For more information, visit suicidecrisis.co.uk