Alex's Answer

How can I help my friend

Your Question

My best friend cuts themselfs, what Should I do 


Thank you for reaching out to us here at Ask Alex – we are here to help and support you.  

We are sorry to hear that your friend is going through such a hard time, it must be very difficult and scary for you too.  

You can offer to talk and listen to your friend, although they may not want to talk about it. But you can let them know you care and that you are open to talking anytime. And if your friend wants to talk, you don’t need to give answers or advice. Most of the time, you can help best just by listening. 

Get help from a trusted adult, encourage your friend to talk to an adult they trust. Help your friend think of who this could be. You could offer to go with them. If your friend isn’t ready for this step, you could talk with an adult. You could talk to your parent, a teacher or maybe a doctor. 

Let the adult know you’re concerned about your friend. Ask them to reach out to your friend, or help your friend meet with a therapist. 

If your friend asks you to keep the cutting a secret, you could say that you aren’t sure you can. Your friend may be mad at you at first; but talking with an adult can be the first step to helping your friend.  

Just be a friend, try to understand what your friend is going through. Try to not let self-harm or problems be the only things you talk about. Make time to do things together that you both enjoy. Find ways to connect in friendship and fun. Having a friend who cares and believes in you can make a big difference. You can be that person for your friend. 

Take care of yourself and your own feelings too,  it’s natural to feel worried, sad, or upset about your friend. It can be draining if you get too caught up in worrying about their problems. It can be hard on you if your friend is going through a lot — or if they just won’t let you help.  Be sure to get the support you need. Even if your friend isn’t ready for help, it can help you to confide in an adult you trust. Talk about what’s going on and how you feel. 

Sometimes, even the truest friend may need to take a break from an intense situation. 

Give it time, you can do your best to encourage your friend to get help. But they might not be open to the idea, at least not right away. Be patient. Your friend could need time to think about what you’ve said.  

This is not something you need to deal with alone! Supporting someone who is self-harming or who has attempted suicide can be emotionally draining, stressful and exhausting. It is impossible to watch over someone 24/7. It is vital that you look after yourself and get the support you need. 

If you feel your friend is at risk and needs immediate help, you can contact the Gardaí at  999  or  112; both these numbers are freephone numbers.  

You or your friend can also contact Pieta House who offer a free crisis helpline for people with suicide ideation and self-harm on 1800 247 247 or Text HELP to 51444. There is also the Samaritans ( who offer a free phone service on 116 123.  

If you feel like you can’t talk to someone you know, you can always call the Childline Team for free at 1800 66 66 66 or reach out through Live Chat at There are people ready to chat with you 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Take care of yourself, please reach out for support soon,  


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