1. Inform them that thoughts of suicide are often linked to a treatable mental illness. This may instil a sense of hope in them.
2. Suicidal thoughts are common and do not have to be acted upon. The thoughts are often a plea for help and a desperate attempt to escape distressing feelings.
3. Encourage them to do most of the talking.
4. Do not attempt to solve their problems.
5. If you appear confident in the face of the suicide crisis, this can be reassuring for the person.
6. Although some people think that asking about suicide can put the idea in the person’s mind, this is not true.
From: Mental Health First Aid training