A world-first initiative for
suicide prevention by ASPF 2020

What to Ask &
what to say and do

From people who’ve been there, for
people who need help.

You can use these messages to start a conversation
around suicide, face to face, over the phone or as a
Text Message.

What You Can Ask

Most suicide attempts occur outside business hours. Medical research shows that connections with multiple friends and family members protect someone having suicidal thoughts and depression. We have generated these texts for you to forward, or change them to be more personal. Save a Life… Send a Text.

I’ve noticed that you haven’t been yourself. Is there anything I can do to help?

I am a bit worried about you. Do you want to have a chat?

Would you describe the way you feel as OK, bad or terrible?

Things sound really tough for you at the moment. Have things got so bad that you just want to go to bed and not wake up?

This may seem out of the blue, but are you having thoughts about hurting yourself or thinking other people would be better off if you were not around?

From what you’ve been saying, I’m really worried about you right now. Are you thinking about harming yourself in any way?

The things that you’ve been saying make me wonder if you’re thinking about taking your own life, am I right?

Do you wish you were not alive? Are these thoughts strong, medium or weak?

Are you actually thinking of doing something to yourself? Are these thoughts strong, medium or weak

More Texts Re
What You Can Ask

Talking in person:

Our texts show how a group of people or one person can offer text support. The RUOK website shows how best to talk one-to-one about suicidal ideas.

You’re not your usual self. Is everything ok?

You’ve had some big life changes recently. I just wanted to check in to see how you’re travelling?

“I know there has been a lot going on/some big life changes for you recently. How are you going?”

I’ve noticed you’ve been really flat & withdrawn lately. Is something wrong?

I’ve noticed you’ve been drinking more. Are you stressed?

You seem to have no energy often. What’s brought this on?

You don’t seem to be coping very well. Do you think you might be depressed?

You’ve been really hard on yourself lately. Do you think you might be depressed?

Are you depressed? I rarely see you happy anymore.

Hey, I haven’t heard from you or seen you for a while, are you ok?

Are things so bad that you’ve thought about hurting yourself or ending your life?

When you’re thinking about your situation, what thoughts are going through your head?

I can see this is worrying for you. Is it just so tough that you feel like giving up?

Have things gotten so bad that you’ve thought about hurting yourself or ending your life?

Sometimes when people talk about the feelings/situations you’ve been describing, they’re thinking about suicide. Are you?

I notice you’ve become withdrawn from family and friends.

You need to tell me what’s going on. You haven’t been yourself for quite a while.

You haven’t been taking my calls. I’m worried about you.

You don’t enjoy anything anymore. I know something is wrong.

You seem so distant and teary. I think you’re depressed.

I’ve noticed you don’t really want to go outside anymore.
You don’t enjoy anything anymore. I know something is wrong.

What You Can Say

The suicidal person feels hopeless, a burden, not understood, alone, worthless, and feels that the pain will never stop. Frequent texts from lots of friends and family members can help fight these thoughts.

You would never advise a friend to die. Tell yourself what you’d tell a friend

When a terrible event happens, we grieve and despair about the future. But humans recover from disasters, even war. I promise you can recover from this.

I will text you every day until you’re safe.

I am sorry this happened to you and is so painful. This must all be so hard. Can I come over? Can we talk?

Look around you. Is there anyone close to you whose suicide would not damage you? Your suicide would destroy so many people.

Having suicidal thoughts is like having any other medical problem. If you’ve got mild asthma, you'd try treating yourself. BUT if it’s a life-threatening attack, you'd ask the experts for help.

Depression is very common under stress and can be fixed. If you cannot remember what you read or see on TV maybe you’re depressed.

Beyond Blue and other organisations can help you design a Safety Plan to help when you’re in a risky place.

Doctors advise that you try not to drink or take drugs when you have suicidal ideas, as this risks you acting impulsively . Medication from your doctor would be safer.

When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold off for just one more day, hour, minute—whatever you can handle

More Texts Re
What You Can Say

I may not know exactly how you feel, but I do want to help you get through this.

If you were drowning, everyone would want to jump in and save you. How can I jump in to help you now?

Please stop thinking you’re a burden or worthless. I want you around in my future.

What would you say if I was suicidal?

Talking puts words to your emotions and thoughts, and then your brain can start to sort things out.

This is really hard for you, but we can get through this, I am here for you. Let’s work through this together

It worries me to think of you feeling so bad about yourself. I want to help you as much as I can

I can’t imagine how painful this is for you, but I would like to try and understand.

Depression and despair fill your brain with wrong thoughts, like it will never get better, there is no way out. Believe me there is.

Depression always lies. You’re not all the negative things your brain is telling you

Your life matters, no one can replace you. I am so thankful you were born.

I care about you and I would be so devastated for a very long time if you weren’t here anymore. Many people feel the same about you.

I am proud of you for fighting these painful symptoms everyday

You don’t have to feel alone. I’m here for you.

Please hang out with me anytime. We don’t have to talk if you’re not feeling great, we can just sit quietly.

Can you think of any good things in your life now or in the past?

Please drink as little as possible, so you reduce the risk of doing something bad impulsively

You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change

Persuading a depressed person to stop their medication is a form of bullying, which can lead to disaster.

I know this isn’t just in your head, it is a very real clinical illness and very painful. I think you’re handling it really well

There is a big future out there beyond your current struggle

You have beautiful moments ahead of you that are waiting to be lived

You’re lovable and worthy – your brain is lying to you if it tells you you’re not (otherwise????)

Sometimes it is ok if the only thing you did today was breathe.

I know you’re finding it really hard to get up and start your day, but I’m here to help.

Please talk to me. A problem shared is a problem halved.

You told me you’re unable to concentrate and are really frustrated at work. Maybe you have depression, which can be fixed.

I think of you as unique, special and irreplaceable. That’s what you mean to me

Asking for help shows strength and courage and is not a sign of weakness.

I love you. You’re a great friend. You mean so much to me and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help you get well.

I appreciate you for the following reasons:……….

I am here to help you cope.

I acknowledge how hard depression and it’s symptoms can be; so please know that I am available for you to download upon at all times.

If you tell me about your symptoms of depression and negative thoughts, sometimes that can make them less powerful.

I am so terribly sorry you’re going through this.

I just want to tell you that you’re not alone in this life.

I’m so sorry this is happening to you.

Please know how much I care even though I don’t completely understand.

I’m certainly not trying to minimise your experience but I know of other people who suffered from severe depression who are really well now.

Asking for help shows strength and courage and is not a sign of weakness

Let me know if you would like me to come over and cook you a meal.

With help, your brain will stop telling you all this negative horrible stuff. You won’t have these thoughts when you’re well. Hold on, please.

Your brain is telling you that no one will understand. It is saying negative wrong stuff. This can be corrected.

What you’re thinking is twisted by depression. When people get better, they can’t believe the thoughts they were having when they were unwell.

I know you think no one understands this pain and that no one can help, but you WILL get better.

I won’t ever get over it, and neither will anyone else that you care for, if you take your own life.

You’re not worthless or a burden. Please talk to me.

You don’t seem to be coping very well. Do you think you might be depressed?

You’ve been really hard on yourself lately. Do you think you might be depressed?

Are you depressed? I rarely see you happy anymore.

You’re not acting like your usual self. Is everything ok?

What You Can Do

If a friend is suicidal, professional help is vital, especially if the ideas are significant. A team of friends and family together can help protect the suicidal person with these messages. Save a life; Send a text (in your words).

I will text you as often as is needed until you’re safe and feel OK.

Please talk as much as you can. This helps lessen the pain and allows healing to take place.

It would be really good if you could speak to your GP or another mental health professional. I can set up an appointment and go with you.

Do you have a plan of how to harm yourself? Can I take away whatever means you were thinking of using to lessen the risk?

Lots of people get suicidal thoughts when at a really low point. We can write a Safety Plan from Beyond Blue.

Professionals can fix this. Let’s arrange an appointment or go to Headspace or an emergency department

We can organise for you not to be left alone until the crisis has passed.

Can I help by getting in touch with your GP and/or mental health professional and explain to them what you told me?

Will you promise me that you won’t harm yourself until we talk or message again? How strongly can you promise?

If you feel you can't get through tonight, please let me know. I will call you before I go to bed.

More Texts Re
What You Can Do

I understand if you don’t want to talk to me about this. I can find someone that you can talk to who will help you.

There are resources/services out there that can help you through this situation. Let me help connect you.

We are all so grateful to have you in our lives but you need to get help for your depression. No good will come out of putting it off. We will help you.

We need to get you some help with some coping skills for depression.

If you feel you may be struggling with depression you don’t have to struggle in silence. It’s important you know I’m here to help.

There are so many treatments available that can help you manage your depression symptoms. You have more power to cope with your depression than you think.

Just because you always feel like this doesn’t mean it’s not depression. You’re just used to coping as best as you can. Come on – let’s get you some help.

Connecting Until Recovery

Ongoing frequent support from multiple friends and family over weeks, not just days, is incredibly protective. Suicidal ideas usually take time to build up, and time to go away.

I am not going to give up until you’re okay

I am proud of you for fighting these painful symptoms everyday

What can I do to help? Please let me do something.

That’s tough. Please keep talking, I’m listening

I know you would keep regular contact with me if our positions were reversed.

Do you want some company without having to talk?

With help, your brain will stop telling you all this negative horrible stuff. You won’t have these thoughts when you’re well. Hang in there.

You’re not a burden even though your depression is telling you this

I am here for you when you need practical support or someone to connect with.

You sound and look a bit better. That’s a very hopeful sign.

More Texts Re
Connecting Until Recovery

You don’t have to talk if it is too hard, but please do reply to one of my texts.

Don’t let your depression lie to you and say everything is negative and hopeless

I promise you I am not going to turn my back on you if you reach out

Are you able to remember what you read or watch on TV? If not, maybe you have depression

You are good enough as a person and very much loved even though your mind is blocking any positives.

I would like to help – how can I make things easier for you?

Hold on for better times ahead

This is not your fault and you’re not weak. You’re actually very strong for talking about it

I know there is a lot going on with some big life changes for you recently – how are you coping?

This awful pain will stop. We need to talk so we can get help.

The things you’re going through aren’t easy. It’s good we can talk about it.

I can do a few practical things for you if that would help?

You’re not alone, there is light in the world. Depression lies to you.

What can I do to lighten your load?

I can’t pretend to know what you’re going through but I’m here for you

What can I do to make things a bit easier?

Take your time, I’m here for you

I’m always here for you

I understand n’t feeling great at the moment but would dinner and a movie help?

Would you like me to come over and cook you a meal?

Do you want some company or a distraction?

Your life matters, no one can replace you. I am so thankful you were born.

What can I do to bring you some comfort? We don’t have to talk if you’re not feeling great, we can just hang out together. Or you can just be here and have a quiet place.

I know this isn’t just in your head, it is very real and very painful. I think you’re handling it really well

There is a big future out there beyond your current struggle

You have beautiful moments ahead of you that are waiting to be lived

You’re lovable and worthy – your brain is lying to you if it tells you otherwise?????

Sometimes it is OKif the only thing you did today was breathe. You have a severe illness which exhausts you.

You need to tell me what’s going on. You haven’t been yourself for a long time. I am concerned.

You haven’t been taking my calls. I’m worried about you.

I know you’re finding it really hard to get up and start your day, but I’m here to help.

Please talk to me. A problem shared is a problem halved.

I’ve noticed you don’t really want to go outside anymore.

You told me you’re unable to concentrate and are really frustrated at work.

People with depression are all unique, special and irreplaceable. That’s what you mean to me

I notice you’ve become withdrawn from family and friends.

Asking for help shows strength and courage and is not a sign of weakness.

I love you. You’re a great friend. You mean so much to me and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help you get well.

I appreciate you for the following reasons:……….

I am here to help you cope.

I acknowledge how hard depression and it’s symptoms can be so please know that I am available for you to download upon at all times.

If you tell me about your symptoms of depression and negative thoughts, sometimes that can make them less powerful.

I am so terribly sorry you’re going through this.

I just want to tell you that you’re not alone in this life.

I’m so sorry this is happening to you.

Please know how much I care even though I don’t completely understand.

I’m certainly not trying to minimise your experience but I know of other people who suffered from severe depression who are really well now.

Asking for help shows strength and courage and is not a sign of weakness

Let me know if you would like me to come over and cook you a meal.

There are resources/services out there that can help you through this situation. Let me help connect you.

We are all so grateful to have you in our lives but you need to get help for your depression. No good will come out of putting it off. We will help you.

We need to get you some help with some coping skills for depression.

If you feel you may be struggling with depression you don’t have to struggle in silence. It’s important you know I’m here to help.

There are so many treatments available that can help you manage your depression symptoms. You have more power to cope with your depression than you think.

Just because you always feel like this doesn’t mean it’s not depression. You’re just used to coping as best as you can. Come on – let’s get you some help.

Lots of people get suicidal thoughts when they are at a really low point. It doesn’t mean you’ll act on it , but we DO need to talk, get you some help .

Would you like me to call you at a certain time every day for a daily check in?

What can I do to lighten your load?

Do you want some company without having to talk?

I understand you’ren’t feeling great at the moment but would dinner and a movie help?

Would you like me to come over and cook you a meal?

Would you like me to call you at a certain time every day for a daily check in?

Do you want some company or a distraction?

What can I do to lighten your load?

ALWAYS tell someone suffering from depression when they are looking or sounding better. Very important !, as the illness or stress tells them improvement will never happen.

We value your ideas.

Do you have an idea or suggested phrase?

Have you helped someone before?

Have you been suicidal and recovered?

Please submit your ideas here, it may help save a life.

    Australian Suicide
Prevention Foundation

For over 20 years we’ve provided Australia-wide suicide prevention to every and any vulnerable Australian, whether they be in metropolitan, rural or isolated areas.

Postal Address:

PO Box 222
North Melbourne VIC 3051

Office Address:

Suite 609, 89 High Street
Kew VIC 3101

Contact/Media

admin@aspf.org

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© Australian Suicide Prevention Foundation