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What to do if you think someone is suicidal

Sep 08, 2017

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World Suicide Prevention Day is Sunday 10 September.

Dr Mark Widdowson, counselling and psychotherapy expert at the University, said: “One of the most important things we can all do is to look out for each other, and to be willing to ask difficult questions if we are concerned about someone else’s welfare.

“A lot of people are frightened of asking someone they think might be suicidal if they are having thoughts of taking their own life as they are concerned about what to do, or that they might somehow ‘plant a seed’ in someone’s mind.

“Don’t be afraid, and ask the question as there is a lot of research which suggests that taking that step and asking that difficult question can save someone’s life. If someone tells you they feel suicidal, it is really important that they get urgent medical attention.

“Be willing to have conversations about mental health in general, and challenge language or jokes which stigmatise or discriminate against people with mental health problems. Encourage anyone who you know who might be struggling to speak to their GP and to seek out counselling or psychotherapy.

“If you are struggling yourself, speak to your friends, your GP and get yourself a counsellor or therapist as counselling and psychotherapy are effective ways of helping people deal with a range of mental health problems.

If you or someone you know needs support, you can also contact the Samaritans.