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Helping a suicidal friend (from afar)

Monami

Monami

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Canada
Apologies if this is the proper forum for this post, but I didn't see a better-suited one.

I moved overseas years ago. One of my closest friends suffers from clinical depression and severe anxiety. They lost their job last year and only work part-time, so money is a source of anxiety. They also had a long-term relationship come to and end and had to move into a new place. The Covid situation has made them feel even more isolated than ever. They see a therapist and they're medicated but the anxiety returns despite the meds. They say they're alone and that I'm the only friend they have left and they are barely hanging on.

We email back and forth multiple times a day. Today they said their Optimist and Suicidal Self are at war. Suicide looks very appealing again.

I'm not asking for advice on how to respond, as I fell like I've learned how to do that with care, but when they get to the brink of suicide, what can I do from so far away? Do I phone the police? (I feel this would cause me to lose their trust.) Do I ask them to call a helpline? (This may come across as insincere or presumptuous?)

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 
toutatis

toutatis

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
1,155
Location
New Zealand
Yes, it's a tough situation to find yourself in and obviously your friend has some very difficult inner struggles at present.

I think you're already doing the best you can under the circumstances and in the event that they should want to end their life, I'd probably advise them to contact a helpline, yes. Nothing wrong with calling the police either because you're only wanting what's best for your friend, which is to stay alive and live.

Maybe some other members here can give you some other advise as well. Good on you Monami.
 
Talina

Talina

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2020
Messages
320
Location
Sweden
It helps alot that you are there for your friend. Myself have a friend that was like that before. During my friends darkest movements I was available 24/7, so he could call when he felt the urges. I would often recommend him to talk with his therapeist and recommend contacts. But I mostly help him get his mind distracted and just be on the phone talking about life, emotions and playing games. He could talk whatever he wanted and his worries, I was just there for him. I think that’s the most important, be there and make them know they have someone that care and will be with them even though when it’s a distance. It’s hard when there a distance and can’t be nearby.

This was a period of 4-5 years of constant worry for my friend from my side. So what you are doing for your friend is really good of you.

I hope you can get good tips from people on the forum 🌸
 
Optrex

Optrex

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
9
Location
Uk
Just be there for them when they need you... sounds like your all ready doing that so keep up the good work!!

As for help lines and the like yea it can not hurt to suggest it. The police tho i am not so sure... i would only contact there local emergency services if you know/are worried that they have or may do something to themselves...

Its a tough one for sure i wish you and your friend luck
 
Monami

Monami

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Canada
Yes, it's a tough situation to find yourself in and obviously your friend has some very difficult inner struggles at present.

I think you're already doing the best you can under the circumstances and in the event that they should want to end their life, I'd probably advise them to contact a helpline, yes. Nothing wrong with calling the police either because you're only wanting what's best for your friend, which is to stay alive and live.

Maybe some other members here can give you some other advise as well. Good on you Monami.
Thank you.
 
TheSadnessWillLastForever

TheSadnessWillLastForever

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2019
Messages
22
Location
Ohio
Definitely call the police if you even slightly believe they're in danger of suicide, you might lose their trust/make them upset but its better that they stay alive and eventually they will understand. And suggesting they call a helpline is a very good idea. Those people are professionals and will definitely be able to help
 
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