Supporting your loved one when they are expressing thoughts of harming themselves is very challenging.

To effectively support them, you need to have information and support for yourself. The material in this section may create worry and anxiety, which is normal. Please remember to be kind to yourself, notice what you are feeling and give yourself permission to perhaps come back another time to this material.

In this section, you will learn about suicidal ideation and steps on how to navigate these difficult conversations.

  • When a family member is thinking about suicide - Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

    This one page information sheet provides information about what to do when your loved one is having suicidal thoughts, such as how to make the home safe when someone is struggling with suicidal thoughts and warning signs to be aware of.

    CAMH is Canada's largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world's leading research centres in its field.

  • Family Huddle Newsletter: Supporting a person with suicidal ideation - Family Support Services, Mental Health and Substance Use Services, Fraser Health Authority

    Supporting a loved one with suicidal ideation is the main topic in the February 2020 edition newsletter for families and natural supporters who are supporting a loved one with a mental illness and/or substance use.

    Family Support Services (FSS) is a program within Fraser Health Mental Health and Substance Use Services, which supports families and friends who are supporting a loved one with a mental illness and/or substance use. The Family Huddle is the FSS a newsletter, open to anyone who wishes to sign up at the link above. This newsletter is how the program shares program information, events and group offerings.

  • Supporting a loved one with suicidal ideation - Sashbear Foundation

    This PowerPoint presentation provides a fantastic overview of what happens to the support people when the person they are supporting engages in self-harm, risky and/or suicidal behaviour.

    The presentation was sponsored by Sashbear Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that provides Family Connections™ (FC). FC is an evidence-based, peer-led, 12-week group that meets weekly to provide education, skills training and support for people who are in a relationship with someone who has challenges with emotion dysregulation. It is provided free of charge.

    The FC program was developed by practicing clinicians/researchers (Drs. Fruchzetti and Hoffman) based on their research as well as their significant professional expertise in counselling people with emotion dysregulation or BPD and their loved ones. The program was developed in consultation with family members and is coordinated internationally by NEABPD. Sashbear oversees and provides FC in Canada.

  • Alcohol use and suicide: fact sheet - Health Canada and Mental Health Commission of Canada

    This nine-page fact sheet reviews the relationship between alcohol and suicidal behaviour, factors associated with alcohol and suicidal behaviour, and ways to reduce risk.

    This is a Health Canada and Mental Health Commission of Canada publication.

  • How to support a suicide attempt survivor - Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP)

    This one page article, with video, provides tips on how to support someone who is feeling suicidal and/or has attempted suicide.

    The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) was launched in 1985 by a group who saw the need to provide information and resources to communities to reduce the suicide rate and minimize the harmful consequences of suicide-related thoughts and behaviours.

  • Eight common myths about suicide - Mayo Clinic

    This one-page article lists the eight myths about suicide.

    The Mayo Clinic is a non-profit American academic medical centre focused on integrated health care, education and research.

Videos and voice recordings

  • How to support someone with suicidal thoughts – Psych Hub

    This two-minute video reviews helpful tips when having a conversation with someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts.

  • Speaking about suicide: Kirk Woodring - TEDxDeerfield

    This 17-minute video is about a clinical social worker who shares his story about his brother who died by suicide. He shares the painful lessons learned about how to support someone who is struggling with suicidal ideation.