Links to international websites on suicide prevention & postvention, & advice on responding to a person with suicidal thoughts
International Suicide Prevention Hotlines
Some Simple Safety Techniques- download here
Advice for Families Concerned about Someone at Risk (New Zealand)
Helping to Keep Your Loved Ones Safe (NZ)
A Referral Pathway for Someone at Risk of Suicide (NZ)
Suicide Risk Warning Signs
• Direct threats or statements indicating a desire to die (e.g. “I’m going to kill myself”)
• Indirect threats (e.g. “you’ll be sorry when I’m gone, “I’d be better off dead”)
• “No-one will miss me when I’m gone”.
• Writing about suicide (e.g. In diary, essay, notes left where someone will see them)
• Asking about ways of killing oneself, purchasing methods of killing oneself (e.g. access to medication/drugs, a rope, hose, or a firearm)
• Reading about suicide or seeking out books or websites about suicide
• Posting suicidal intent on social media websites, texts or tweets
• A preoccupation with talking, or asking questions, about death
• Putting affairs in order (e.g. paying bills, paying debts)
• Giving away personal effects, pets or prized possessions
• Reading or writing about death or seeking out books about death
• Drawing/artwork/graffiti about death
• Preoccupation with thinking about someone who has died
• (Perceived) intolerable loss or stress (e.g. separation, relationship break-up, legal problems, debt, job loss)
• Changes in behaviour, personality and/or mood
• Tendency towards social withdrawal or isolation: not communicating
• Increased risk-taking behaviour (e.g. playing chicken on the road or railway lines)
• Increased or heavy use of alcohol, cannabis and/or other drugs
• Changes in mood including: crying readily or frequently, sleeplessness or oversleeping, apathy, lethargy or exhaustion, recent weight or appetite change
• Poor self-esteem, worthlessness
• Hopelessness or helplessness (e.g. “I’m sick of everything”)
• Reduced interest or involvement in usual activities, pastimes or interests
• Decreased work, academic or school performance
• Frequent lateness or unexplained absences or truancy
• Indecisiveness, inability to concentrate
• Exaggerated fears of illness or disease
• Increased irritability or anger: increased moodiness
• Sudden appearance of happiness and/or calmness after a period of displaying any of the characteristics listed above.
*Suicide ideation is simply recurrent thoughts about killing oneself (refer to mindfulness and meditation) -its not because they are stupid, weak or crazy-they just need more tools to help them through this dark patch in their lives, and more trusted and trustworthy people to talk with.
People who show a number of the above signs should be referred for professional assessment and help.
*Maintain close contact if they are at immediate risk until other support is available.
*Listen without judgment and with compassion and give them hope that they can and will have better times ahead
*They need to be asked directly if they are thinking of suicide. [This does not increase the risk and is particularly important if the individual has a history of a previous suicide attempt.]
*Suicide is always preventable if we have the right tools and compassionate people to connect with:-but ultimately it is the person’s choice (but a very bad choice for them and for those who care about them)
*Ask if they have a plan to kill themselves. If so, what is their plan and method (when, how, where -and remove the means where possible)
*Identify who else can know and needs to know about their suicidal thoughts (family/friends/partner etc)
*Building strong supportive links and communication with valued others is the key to building safety.
*Don’t be afraid to ask if the person is thinking about suicide-it doesn’t increase the risk!
*If the person is in the process of an attempt or just about to attempt suicide-contact emergency services; Police. Maintain contact and keep talking.
*If the person has a suicide plan and has access to means to kill themselves; refer to mental health services and maintain contact.
*If the person is talking about suicide but risk is not immediate, support them to access counseling and other supports. Maintain contact.
*Do suicide prevention training (QPR, ASIST, SafeTALK etc).
*Know your limits and keep yourself safe.
*Every suicide risk is different; don’t assume
*Distract in the short term (“cup of tea?” or ”would you like this to eat, or this?”).
*Its ok to ask the “S” word.
*You can ask “how have you got to this point?” (intense suicide ideation usually but not always results from Adverse Childhood Experience and then one or more precipitating event which sparks action). You might say ‘if Id been through all the things that have happened to you in the last while, I might have thought about suicide as an option; are you thinking about suicide?”
*In their understanding they are acting rationally with the information they have – respect that, but make it clear it’s the wrong choice , and they need more information to make the right choices..
*Remember, almost every suicide death is a death alone:- where can you get longer term trustworthy (to them) support for the person, to stay with them and keep them safe?
*Remember, their situation may have been around for the past 30 years and you’ve been with them ten minutes:- who else can support?
*Work alongside the person to develop their safety plan (but never ever rely on it!)
A simpler safety plan is linked here, with instructions here
(some people might like to use a smartphone app “Safety Plan App” like BeyondNow’s version here or MoodTools U.S. version here or Mental Health Foundation’s (NZ) Manawaplan app
*Work alongside the person to reduce the likelihood of further precipitating events which can spark suicide ideation.
*Where possible, get them to stop using alcohol and drugs (but remember breaking an alcohol or drug-free promise can be one more precipitating event)
*If they have a mental health issue; ensure they have quality and timely clinical support – check they received that support.
*Share the risk: – where you know someone is at significant risk, you have the right and obligation to let other supports know; ideally with the clients permission.
Drug Rehab.com-Information and answers for people fighting addiction
Preventing suicide: lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people (U.K)
Takataapui-Part of the Family: Indigenous Rainbow (LGBTI) Young People and Risk (N.Z
Recommendations for funeral services, memorials and remembrance activities for those who have died by suicide in Aotearoa-NZ- Rev. GregA Referral Pathway for Suicide Prevention (NZ) Hughson
Funerals in Aotearoa New Zealand
Safety Planning ( a key tool)
A very simple safety plan that anyone can complete. It provides no guarantees of safety, but helps the at-risk person to start thinking about the future and safety. (copy for at-risk person and copy for support person/family member)
Safety planning guide: A quick guide for clinicians – Suicide Prevention Resource Center (sprc.org)
Papyrus: Prevention of Young Suicide http://www.papyrus-uk.org/about (U.K.) PAPYRUS was founded in 1997 by Jean Kerr, a mother from Lancashire. She and a small group of parents who had each lost a child to suicide were convinced that that many young suicides are preventable.
Emergencies & Traumatic Incidents -Ministry of Education (NZ)) – A guide for secondary schools and a range of fact sheets covering topics
Preventing and Responding to Suicide- A Resource Kit for Schools ( New Zealand) (pdf)
Jed Foundation: http://www.jedfoundation.org/
As the nation’s (United States) leading organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among college students, The Jed Foundation is protecting the mental health of students across the country. With your support, we will continue to lead the way and protect the potential of tomorrow’s leaders.
Samaritans (U.K.) and the Online Environment: http://www.samaritans.org/news/samaritans-and-online-environment.
Depending on whom you believe, the online world is the channel of choice for a digital generation seeking help or it is a dark place full of those waiting to exploit vulnerable people. In this piece we’ll look at some of the key issues and describe what we think needs to be done about suicide and the online environment.
Chatsafe Guidelines (Aust.)
Tools and tips to help communicate safely online about suicide – #chatsafe – Orygen, Revolution in Mind
Welcome to the Mindframe for the mental health and suicide prevention sector pages, which provide a valuable resource to support communicating effectively with the media about suicide, mental health and mental illness. –
Man Therapy (U.S.): http://mantherapy.org/
Therapy the way a man would do it.
Men at risk ( Aust.)
Men – Beyond Blue
Suicide Prevention Resource Centre (U.S.) http://www.sprc.org/.
Promoting a public health approach to suicide prevention.
Zero Suicide in Health and Behavioral Health Care. http://zerosuicide.actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/
Zero Suicide is a commitment to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems and also a specific set of tools and strategies. It is both a concept and a practice. Its core proposition is that suicide deaths for people under care are preventable and that the bold goal of zero suicides among persons receiving care is an aspirational challenge that health systems should accept.
Suicide Grief & Loss
Resources for Suicide Loss Survivor’s
Skylight resources for grief and loss
The Forever Decision: Paul Quinnett: http://www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org/documents/Forever_Decision.pdf
Workplace Suicide Risk
Mates In Construction: http://www.matesinconstruction.com.au/
MATES in Construction is a community development organisation aimed at reducing suicide and improving mental health and wellbeing within the Australian Construction industry.
Established in Queensland in 2008, MATES in Construction is a federation of independent industry based MATES in Construction organisation in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.
Blue Pages http://www.bluepages.anu.edu.au/
Blue Pages provides information on treatments for depression based on the latest scientific evidence. Blue Pages also offers screening tests for depression and anxiety, a depression search engine, and links to other helpful resources.
The MoodGym: https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome
Learn cognitive behaviour therapy skills for preventing and coping with depression.
Providing emotional support to prevent suicide worldwide.
Beating the Blues: http://www.beatingtheblues.co.nz/
Beating the Blues is the most widely used and evidence-based online CBT treatment programme for depression and anxiety.
Laying the foundations for wellbeing in your later years
Building skills for wellbeing and tracking emotional health is important in preventing or interrupting the progression of mental health difficulties. Any young person can benefit from building resilience and coping skills. These apps and online tools are designed to build better wellbeing skills and habits. Access advice from young people and health professionals on using these in your work with young people.
Overcoming Social Anxiety
Overcoming Social Anxiety is an online resource dedicated to helping you overcome social anxiety, social phobia or shyness – so you can live a life that isn’t ruled by your emotions
Complete with real life stories and created side by side with young people HeadMeds provides much needed, straight talk on mental health medication whenever young people need it. See more real life stories at: www.headmeds.org.uk
New Zealand Suicide Prevention Phone and Weblinks
The Mental Health Foundation’s free resource and information service (09 623 4812) will refer callers to some of the helplines below: Mental Health Foundation: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
- Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
- Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free
- Lifeline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 354
- Depression Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 111 757
- Healthline(open 24/7) – 0800 611 116
- Samaritans (open 24/7) – 0800 726 666
- Youthline (open 24/7) – 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email email@example.com
- 0800 WHATSUP children’s helpline – phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.
- Kidsline(open 24/7) – 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidslinebuddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.
- Your local Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254(0800 RURAL HELP)
- Common Ground http://www.commonground.org.nz/ Supporting a young person through thoughts and feelings
- Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (noon to midnight)
- The Lowdown: thelowdown.co.nz or firstname.lastname@example.org or free txt 5626
- Depression helpline: depression.org.nz 0800 111 757 (24-hour service)
- Are You OK? 0800 456 450 areyouok.org.nz
- Sparx sparx.org.nz Suicide Prevention Info NZ
- Movember http://nz.movember.com/?home The leading global organisation committed to changing the face of men’s health
- Skylight Grief and bereavement resources (N.Z.)
Suicide Prevention Training
ASIST Suicide Prevention Training Program | LivingWorks
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) The ASIST workshop is for caregivers who want to feel more comfortable, confident and competent in helping to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. Over one million caregivers have participated in this two-day, highly interactive, practical, practice-oriented workshop.
QPR: Question, Persuade and Refer, three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives.
Mindfulness and meditation are extremely effective methods to reduce anxiety, improve inhibition for self-harm and anger and developing calmer states of mind
Here’s one excellent resource ..
Mindful is an initiative that celebrates being mindful in all aspects of daily living—through Mindful magazine, mindful.org, and social media. To learn more about our efforts, the people behind Mindful, and our growing community, read an overview of Mindful and click on the articles below.
Mindful Aotearoa is part of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.
Mindfulness is a core part of the MHF’s work toward creating a society where all people enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing.
We currently run mindfulness programmes in schools, deliver workplace mindfulness training through Working Well, and are about to launch a comprehensive workforce development programme for professionals looking to develop and enhance their mindfulness practice.
A non-profit resource for establishing peace in peoples’ mind who have anxiety, unhappiness and unbalance etc.
Cutting and Self Harm Links
Cutting & Self-Harm: Self-Injury Help, Support, and Treatment
Self-Harm –Key points to remember about self harm
The Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide: What We Know and What it Means for Schools (U.S.)
Suicide Prevention Strategy
Mental Health & Suicide Prevention (Aust.) recommendations of an inquiry into the mental health system and its workforce, in light of the 2019 bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. (Nov.2021)
Communities Matter: Resources Community – Driven Suicide Prevention– (Australia)
A Prioritized Research Agenda for Suicide Prevention: An Action Plan to Save Lives (U.S.)
Webinar Series: An Overview of the Action Alliance Prioritized Research Agenda | National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
Social Connection: Building Resilience, Persistence & Social Skills
Zippy’s Friends: Zippy’s Friends is a programme that helps young children – five, six & seven year olds – to develop coping and social skills.
Using Mindfulness Meditation to Cope with Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings
Online MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction)
The Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicidal Behavior: Current Empirical Status: Thomas Joiner
Promoting Emotional Health & Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for Senior Centers (U.S.) and other Resources for supporting older people
Pasifika Suicide Prevention
Leva : Suicide Prevention – Le Va
Maori Suicide Prevention
Te Rau Ora: Wellbeing & Prevention – Te Rau Ora
How to Build a Suicide Prevention Strategy (WHO Canada)
Talking about Suicide
The Experience of People Who Have Attempted Suicide
Lessons for Life: The Experiences of People who Attempt Suicide (audio)
This page was last updated on 24th April 2023
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