This month is an opportunity for all of us to think about how we can take small steps to prevent suicide. Here are some thoughts:
(1) It's a common myth that by talking about suicide we are increasing the likelihood of it happening. This is not the case. People who are able to talk about their suicidal feelings are less likely to kill themselves. If you know someone who is struggling, talk to them. If you are struggling, ask for help.
(2) Suicide may not be about wanting to die, but more about wanting to 'have a rest' from current feelings or a present situation. Being supported by an empathic friend or professional can be enough to get someone through the moment of crisis. It's not about trying to persuade someone who is feeling suicidal that all will be rosy tomorrow, more about suggesting their worst feelings/fears may not last.
(3) Finding a way to 'have a rest' from difficult feelings can help, this may be doing something pleasurable with people who care. Taking drugs or alcohol is not recommended, as both have depressive (and other) side effects.
(4) Knowing people will truly care if we're not around can also ease some of the desire to die.
(5) It's hard to listen to someone who is expressing the wish to die, but if you can do so without criticism or judgement then this can help. Also seek support & advice eg from a GP or other health professional or from the Samaritans (phone: 116 123; or email firstname.lastname@example.org) or another crisis line.