Friday, 29 July 2016 12:47

Guide to Active Listening

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It's hard to know what to do when someone you care about is feeling depressed or upset.

You can use the following list as a guide to good Active Listening:

Consider the possibility of suicide
Focus on the pain
Ask if suicide is on their minds
Get involved
Allow the expression of feeling
Make life an option
Be non-judgmental
Get help from responsible persons
Stay with the person at risk
Keep details of the story confidential

× Lecture or moralise or give advice
× Think it is a passing phase
× Brush off feelings with inane remarks
× Be afraid that you will instil the idea
× Do nothing
× Trample on feelings
× Dare them to follow through with suicide
× React verbally or physically with shock
× Go it alone
× Leave the person alone
× Promise not to tell anyone

Remember, a good friend will always tell a trusted adult about a friend who is struggling with a serious problem, is deeply depressed or considering suicide.

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Warning Signs

Warning signs may include but are not limited to:
Withdrawing from family and friends
Having difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly
Sleeping too much or too little
Feeling tired most of the time
Gaining or losing a significant amount of weight
Talking about feeling hopeless or guilty
Talking about suicide or death
Self-destructive behaviour like drinking too much or abusing drugs
Losing interest in favourite things or activities
Giving away prized possessions
Mood swings
If a friend mentions suicide, take it seriously. If they have expressed an immediate plan, or have access to prescription medication or other potentially deadly means, do not leave them alone. Get help immediately.


The Samaritans116 123
Pieta House1800 247 247
Aware1890 30 33 02
ISPCC Childline1800 66 66 66
Teen-Line Ireland1800 83 36 34

Contact Us

Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland (RCN20070670)
Atrium Business Centre
Blackpool Retail Park, Blackpool
Cork City, Ireland
Tel 021 - 242 7173