Are you concerned that someone you know may be suicidal?
If you find yourself in the position of not being able to support a friend or person with this issue, it’s imperative to get immediate help from a health professional. There are supports readily available to assist you on (see Crisis Services at Brock and After Hours Crisis Resources located on the right side of this page).
If you are able to talk with the person directly:
- Call 911 if you believe at any time there is immediate risk.
- Find a safe, private place to talk allowing as much time as necessary.
- Listen without judgement. This single-most important thing you can do.
- Have your referral resources easily accessible for on-campus help.
- Approach the student with a specific description of the behaviour that is concerning you and determine how they are feeling.
“I’ve noticed your weekday alcohol consumption has increased. Are you feeling okay?”
- Acknowledge the thoughts and feelings expressed.
- Ask them directly if they are thinking about suicide.
“When people are feeling as bad as you are, they sometimes think about killing themselves. Have you been having those thoughts?”
“Are you thinking about killing yourself?”
- If the answer is no, listen to their problem and help them get the help they need.
- Share your own concerns and fears and offer to help in any way you can.
“I’m worried you’ll do something you’ll regret. I want you to know I can help.”
“It sounds like you have had a lot to deal with these past few weeks. I know you think it’s hopeless, but I believe with the proper help you can make it through.”
- If they agree to get help, if possible, go with the person. They are more likely to actually go somewhere for help if they’re not alone.
- If they don’t want to go now, ask if they would like to make an appointment with you present.
- If they do not agree to make an appointment at the present time and you believe there is no immediate risk, give them the appropriate referral information and indicate you respect their decision and are still available if they want.
- Arrange a follow-up meeting.
- Consult with a mental health professional about your next steps.