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As stated in the title, myself/someone I know is currently suffering from depression/suicidal tendencies and I was wondering if anyone had any advice on what to do?

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    Related meta post. – HDE 226868 Jun 30 '17 at 15:07
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    This should be split into two questions concerning depression and suicidal. – curiousdannii Jul 7 '17 at 7:45
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    Depression is not the same thing as having suicidal thoughts. – user288 Aug 5 '17 at 16:20
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    This is a broad question, and the information also runs counter to the idea of providing help and information. There is no catch-all advice to situations pertaining to mental health. This is the kind of stuff that we as a community need to handle on a case-by-case basis. Being depressed is not being suicidal. I have issues with the factual content here, the way this question is being asked, the way we're designing it to be a duplicate target... There are many issues that I see with this post that are risky and dangerous to the public. – Zizouz212 Aug 8 '17 at 17:10
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    I have been a volunteer for a helpline and had to answer calls from people who were suicidal. We had to follow very strict guidelines for how to handle such calls. An answer or comment from someone how isn't trained to talk to a suicidal person could put them in more danger, not deliberately of course, so I wanted to say that I agree with how you decided to take care of answers like that. – Tycho's Nose Aug 25 '17 at 21:27
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This answer will deal with not just what to do if you personally are dealing with depression/suicidal thoughts, but also if someone you know is feeling that way too. Any numbers, websites or hotlines will be listed towards the end of the answer.

What to do if you are feeling depressed or suicidal:

Contact a helpline immediately, if you are afraid of talking via the phone, there are various live web chats or emails you could compose instead if you'd prefer to do that. If you are at serious risk of harming yourself, call your local emergency services number immediately. While you may think that contacting family or friends is a good idea, they are not qualified, nor do they have the proper knowledge or training to offer the appropriate support in these situations. I am sure you understand that situations and discussions of this nature can also take an emotional toll on the person offering support, either intentionally or unintentionally which may create a stressful situation for them as well. If you need to talk to someone, please reach out to one of the various charities, hotlines, websites or other methods of accessing people who are qualified and trained to assist you.

What to do if someone you know is depressed or suicidal:

You aim to assist this type of person is to direct them towards any of the contact methods mentioned at the bottom of this answer, while involving yourself as little as possible in their problems. While you may want to help them get better, you are not trained to do so, and if you make a mistake it can have a huge effect on both your and their lives. If after directing someone to the relevant helpline you yourself would like to talk to someone, or feel effected by contacting such a person, you should also contact those helplines, as they are there to support you too.

As a first port of call you should always direct them towards the helplines, they may not wish to do so immediately however you should try to encourage them to contact these people by reassuring them that not only will they listen and understand them, but they are also able to offer the best care and support available to you.

If you are unable to direct them to a support group, then it may be wise to attempt to get them to contact people they know and meet on a daily basis, these people include:

  • Work/School-based counselors
  • Teachers, supervisors or superiors
  • Parents

Finally, if they are not willing to seek support themselves, you may want to consider informing the above people yourselves, while it may seem to be unfair to the person at the time, you could very well help improve their quality of life in the long run.

Contact, support and emergency numbers (international):

For a full list of both global suicide/depression hotlines, and also a list of international emergency numbers, please check the linked sites. (you can use the "find" feature of your browser to find a specific country)

United States:

Emergency Number - 911
Phone Calling Hotline - 1-800-448-3000
Text Messaging Hotline - 1-800-799-4889
Online Web Chat (Area Code Needed) - http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx

United Kingdom:

Emergency Number - 999
Phone Calling Hotline - (0) 8457 90 90 90
Email - jo@samaritans.org

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