If someone has attempted suicide or you're worried about their immediate safety, do the following:
- Call your local mental health crisis assessment team or go with them to the emergency department (ED) at your nearest hospital.
- If they are an immediate physical danger to themselves or others, call 111.
- Stay with them until support arrives.
- Remove any obvious means of suicide they might use (e.g. guns, medication, car keys, knives, rope).
- Try to stay calm and let them know you care.
- Keep them talking: listen and ask questions without judging.
- Make sure you are safe.
If you think someone may be suicidal, ask them. It could save their life.
- Asking about suicide will not put the thought in their head.
- Ask them directly about their thoughts of suicide and what they are planning. If they have a specific plan, they need help right away.
- Ask them if they would like to talk about what’s going on for them with you or someone else. They might not want to open up straight away, but letting them know you are there for them is a big help.
- Listen and don’t judge. Take them seriously and let them know you care.
- Help them to find and access the support they need from people they trust: friends, family, kaumātua, religious, community or cultural leaders, or professionals.
- Don't leave them alone – make sure someone stays with them until they get help.
- Support them to access professional help, like a doctor or counsellor, as soon as possible. Offer to help them make an appointment, and go with them if you can.
- If they don't get the help they need the first time, keep trying. Ask them if they would like your help explaining what they need to a professional.