If you're worried about someone at risk of suicide
Unfortunately, suicide is not uncommon in the automotive industry and, sadly, in recent years, we have seen an increase in calls to our helpline for support around this difficult topic.
Many people struggle to cope at some point in their lives. Reaching out could let them know that someone cares and that they are valued. It can be hard for some people to open up about how they are feeling, so it’s important to keep checking in. Learn more about:
Here are some warning signs to look out for that could indicate someone is at risk of suicide:
• Giving away possessions
• Writing goodbye letters
• Becoming withdrawn or isolated
• Increase in alcohol or drug use
• Behaving erratically or experiencing extreme
• Giving up previously loved activities
Saying phrases like…
• They don’t want to be here anymore
• Wanting a way out
• That life has no purpose
• Being a burden to others
• That nobody cares
Impactful life situations that bring loss, stress or trauma
• Money worries – debt
• Loss of job
• Abuse of any kind
• Relationship breakdown
• Feelings of failure / rejection
The areas listed above don’t always lead to suicidal thoughts and everyone is different so some people may not display any of these signs. However, don’t be afraid to check in with someone if you feel something has changed or is worrying you more than usual.
Suicide can be a sensitive subject, but don’t be afraid to start a conversation and ask direct questions around suicide, like: “Are you having suicidal thoughts?”. You will be able to tell if the person doesn’t want to share this with you. Asking difficult questions will show the person that you aren’t scared to talk about it and it may give them the confidence they need to share how they are feeling.
Ask open ended questions
Questions such as, “how have you been feeling?” or “what’s on your mind?” give the person more opportunity to open up and say more than just “yes” or “no”.
Listen without judgement
It’s difficult for some people to share how they are feeling, so it is really important to listen to them without making any judgements. Give them your undivided attention and try not to talk about yourself or place blame for how they are feeling.
Opening up can take time, so make sure that you give the person time and space to speak. If they pause, avoid jumping in to fill the silences – as they may have more to say. Remember that you don’t need to try and solve all their problems, just listening will show them that you care and understand.
Take them seriously
It is important to take what the person is telling you seriously. Some people who talk about having suicidal thoughts may go on to act on their feelings. Keep offering your support and check in on them.
For those who you feel might be at risk of acting on suicidal thoughts, please do the following:
• Call 999 if there is an immediate risk to life
• Visit your nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) department and explain that the person you are with is thinking of suicide
• Call 111 if the person you’re with can stay safe for now but you still require urgent support.
If someone needs support but is not currently in an emergency situation / crisis then Ben is here:
Chat online or call our helpline. It’s free & confidential and available.
It’s also possible to request a call back from our helpline at a time that suits you between our operating hours. Find more ways we can support you here.
Ben’s out of hours text service
For those who work, or have worked, in the automotive industry who are struggling or in crisis. Just text BEN to 85258, it’s free and confidential.
Opening hours: 8pm – 8am
If you are an employer or HR professional and need some guidance on the topic of suicide and self-harm, we work with employers to help them support their employees. Please see ‘Suicide prevention – Information for employers and managers’.