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It can be hard for some men to express their feelings. They may be embarrassed or worried they’ll be seen as weak. Here MensLine Australia explores ways you can help a mate who may be experiencing feelings of suicide.
It can be pretty hard for some men to express their feelings. They may be embarrassed or worried they’ll be seen as weak. They may think they don’t have anyone to talk to, or just don’t know where to start to look for help. Seeing a mate suicidal can be a difficult challenging time.
If someone is thinking about hurting himself, chances are he’ll be showing signs in the way he looks, acts or talks. If your mate is really struggling, he might not want or be able to talk to you about how he’s feeling, but these warning signs can give you a clue that something is wrong.
Sometimes people will make more obvious reference to suicide or self-harm. They might talk about or plan for suicide, write a suicide note, or threaten to kill or hurt themselves. This is not attention-seeking. If someone threatens to hurt or kill themselves, take it seriously. Stay with them if they’re at risk, and get professional help as soon as you can.
An important part of being a good mate is reaching out when someone is struggling.
If mate is showing a few warning signs and you think something might be up, don’t ignore him. Good mates step up and take action.
If you feel comfortable, talking to your mate is a good place to start. Find time to have a chat somewhere private, preferably when you’re both relaxed and can talk openly without being interrupted. Ask him how things are going. If you are worried, don’t put off talking to him, act quickly.
This can be a pretty hard conversation, so you might find the following tips helpful when seeing a mate suicidal:
Supporting a mate to get professional help when he’s feeling overwhelmed or suicidal is important. Encourage him to speak to a doctor, counsellor, psychologist or other health professional. Offer to go with him for support if he’s feeling uneasy. His GP is a good place to start, as they’ll know what services are available in his area, and be able to refer him on if it’s appropriate.
Guys might also find telephone counselling helpful. It means they can talk to a trained counsellor at any time of the day or night. Give him a couple of the following numbers (all 24/7) and encourage him to call if he needs to.
Seeing a mate suicidal, is pretty upsetting and stressful. It’s important you look after yourself.
Make sure you’re still eating and sleeping properly, managing your stress levels and taking time out. Talk to someone you trust – your mates, your family or your partner. If you need some extra help, get in touch with a counsellor or other professional to have a chat about the situation, and how you can cope.
It’s also really important that you remember that no matter what happens, the way your mate’s feeling or behaving isn’t your fault. You’re not responsible for his actions, but you can support him and encourage him to get help.
Feeling suicidal can be an overwhelming and painful experience, but it is not something you have to bear alone. Asking for help is an important step towards getting the support you need.
In an emergency
If you are in immediate danger, or concerned for your safety in any way:
Each of these emergency services teams are specially trained to support people in crisis, including people feeling suicidal, and are able to keep you safe.
There are a number of services and professionals available to help you through this difficult time. You may wish to speak to someone over the phone, or prefer to seek help face to face. Whichever you choose, it’s important that you are as honest about your situation and the way you’re feeling as possible, so you can get the support you need. Talking to someone about such a painful issue can be difficult, so you may want to check out our How to talk about suicide page for information and tips on how to start a conversation.