Alex's Answer

How do I talk to my friend after she tried to kill herself

Your Question

My bestfriend tried to kill herself and i just don’t understand why? I haven’t talked to her yet since it happened and i don’t know how to approach the subject.


Hi there, welcome to Ask Alex. Thank you for reaching out to us; we are here to help and support you.
We are sorry to hear that your friend is going through such a hard time. This must be very difficult and scary for you too.
People often say that they find it challenging to support someone who has attempted suicide because they feel they don’t know what to say. It can be extremely difficult to find the right words when you’re feeling devastated, overwhelmed, upset, or even confused yourself. Although you may not know exactly what to say, try to create an environment where your friend feels accepted, supported, safe, and understood. Let your friend know you support them and asking open-ended questions can help to open the lines of communication.
These are some examples of things to say, but note everyone’s needs and reactions may be different, so adjust your language accordingly to the person you’re speaking to:
– “I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in any way I can.”
– “I am always just a phone call away.”
– “We all need help at times like this, and I am here for you.”
– “I am usually up early or late. If you need anything, I am always here for you.”
– “How can I be here for you?”
– “Say nothing and just be there to listen.”
These are things you should try to not say
– “Why did you do this?”
– “Your life is so precious.”
– “Everything in your life is great.”
– “People have it worse than you.”
– “Do you have any idea how sad we would be if you were gone?”
Remember that you are not a counsellor, psychiatrist, or doctor yourself, so try and encourage your friend to get the professional support available to them. Enlist the help of others and make sure you get family and friends to help you support your friend. This is not something you should deal with alone. Supporting someone 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 or your friend feels ithey are at risk and need immediate help, you can contact the Gardaí at 999 or 112; both of these numbers are freephone numbers.
You and your friend can also contact Pieta House (, which offers a free crisis helpline for people with suicidal thoughts and self-harm at 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444. There is also the Samaritans ( who offer a free phone service at 116 123.
If you would like to talk to someone anonymously you can always call the Childline Team at 1800 66 66 66 or reach out through Live Chat at
Take care of yourself and know that you and your friend do not have to go through this journey on your own, we are here for you both, anytime, day or night.

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