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Every six hours a human being takes his own life. You can make a difference.

Get in contact

Have you noticed that someone around you is feeling unwell and may have changed in a way that is worrying you? Talk to that person. You can say: “I see you’re not feeling well – would you like to tell me how you’re feeling?”  Sometimes, one conversation can be enough to get a person to delay plans to take his or her life and end up deciding not to commit suicide.

Show that you care and want to listen

Ask whether something in particular has happened. Maintain eye contact while talking and try to be open and open-minded. Do not be afraid of silences occurring – thoughts and feelings are being processed during these silences. There are times when you need to ask clear questions to get the conversation going – “What did you do yesterday?”, or “How are things going at school / work?” If things that the person perceives as positive in his or her life come up, point them out and emphasise them.

Ask about suicide

When you ask the question, you are showing that it is OK to talk about suicidal thoughts. You do not need to worry that the question might increase the risk of suicide. That is a myth. You can ask: “Are things difficult enough for you to sometimes think of ending your life?” If the answer is yes: “Have you thought about how you would go through with it?” Advanced plans may indicate that the situation is more serious. If the person has been in a similar situation, how did he or she handle it then? Take all talk of suicide seriously and never promise to keep anyone’s suicidal thoughts secret.

Seek help

Emphasise that help is available and discuss how you can offer support. Offer to go with them and seek help. Under “ Hjälp och stöd” you will find information on where you can go. Try to ensure that the person feels calm, stay there and it could be a good idea to contact someone with whom he or she feels secure. Never leave someone who is close to suicide on their own. If the person does not appear to be in control of the situation, consider this to be an emergency and ring 112 or go to the emergency psychiatric clinic at the nearest hospital.

Thank you for reading this important text.

You can make a big difference. Help us spread the message. Together we can break the silence and save lives.