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How to Help a Friend
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, get help right away.
You can also visit your nearest Emergency Department or Call 911.                                          
 
Be a Natural Helper...
Natural Helpers are friends who youth naturally turn to when they need support or help with a problem. Natural Helpers
are an important support network and are often the first people to encounter a friend who may be struggling.
What Youth Tell Us About Natural Helpers...
Through focus groups run by the We CARE project, youth have told us that Natural Helpers...
  • genuinely listen without judging
  • reach out when friends need help
  • are open and available
  • are good problem solvers
  • are trustworthy, caring and honest
  • show empathy
  • know when a situation is too big for them to handle
  • support them in getting help if needed
What is the role of the Natural Helper?

 Connectand reassure you are always there.

  • show by your actions that you care, i.e., send a positive text message, go for coffee, arrange to spend tim together.
  • provide reassurance that life can be challenging, that help is always available and  that you are there for them.
Ask  your friend to share what’s happening in their life and listen
without judging.
  • talk on a regular basis, so you're not only talking when you see problems.
  • find the right time to talk that works for both of you, put away distractions and give your full attention.
  • stay away from sarcasm, ridicule, put downs or minimizing the situation.

 out and ask them what they need.

  • take the lead from your friend and help in a way they feel is supportive.
  • promise privacy but never promise confidentiality! Your friends well-being is the most important thing and you may need to get support.
  • your friend may need time to think about 'what they need', promise to talk again.

and encourage them in seeking help when needed.

  • Be helpful, seek out good advice from trusted adults, local services and professional supports.
  • Check out the www.kidshelpphone.ca or www.wecaregreybruce.ca websites together
  • Encourage friends and help them to talk with others – sharing problems with family and adult support people can be difficult.
What if I'm really concerned for a friend's safety?
ANY SUSPICION THAT SOMEONE YOU KNOW MAY BE CONSIDERING SUICIDE MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY.  WHEN THE PERSON'S ACTIONS OR WORDS ARE CAUSE FOR CONCERN, GET HELP TO TAKE THEM TO THE NEAREST HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT OR CALL 911.
 
What are the danger signs?
In some cases those who die by suicide, do not give any warning at all. Many, however, offer clues and communicate their plans to others.
Individuals expressing suicidal intentions should always be taken seriously.  Some of the signs to look out for are:
  • direct suicide threats such as “I want to die,” or indirect threats such as “You would be better off without me”
  • personality changes or withdrawn behaviour
  • hoarding medication
  • giving away prized possessions
  • lack of interest in future plans
  • isolation from friends and colleagues
  • depression
Threats that may signal imminent danger often come from people who are isolated, who have attempted suicide before (and then were discovered
only by accident), are impulsive, and have access to lethal means (weapons, drugs). (Adapted from Canadian Mental Health Association).
 
DO 

DON'T

  • Contact a caring adult
  • Take it seriously
  • Stay calm
  • Present as caring
  • Explore thoughts and feelings
  • Seek assistance
  • Promise Privacy 
  • Panic! 
  • Think you can handle this without adult support
  • Leave the person alone
  • Ignore the person's need to talk
  • Allow disruptions
  • Minimize problem
  • Promise confidentiality

cell phone with the text, Here's the Deal on Counselling
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Build Your Support Network
Tree of Life from the folks at MindYourMind.ca 
Image with the words Tree of Life with tree and river.
 
Do you need to get help?
There are many services available for youth and their families in Grey and Bruce Counties. 
Visit the Getting Help page.

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