For many people, telling those close to them that they are experiencing thoughts of suicide can be incredibly difficult.

But how do we know if someone is thinking about suicide?

PAPYRUS, the national UK charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide, has outlined some of the tell-tale signs which we can look out for that may indicate someone could be considering ending their life.

Giving away possessions, withdrawing socially, acting impulsively or self-harming

You may have noticed that they are feeling hopeless, sad, lonely, angry or worthless

Displaying physical changes, such as self-neglect, a disrupted sleep pattern or loss of appetite

They may be struggling with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or an eating disorder

Someone who is suicidal may also express this through verbal cues such as saying 'everyone will be better off without me', 'all of my problems will end soon' or 'I just can’t take it anymore'

While there isn't a definitive guide to identify signs of suicidal thoughts, PAPYRUS believe the key is to trust your intuition.

I'm worried about someone. What should I do?

Advice from PAPYRUS says there may be times when working towards safety with a young person is not possible. This might be if they are going to immediately act on their thoughts of suicide or it could be if a young person has already taken steps to end their life. In these circumstances – seek emergency help.

If you’re with a young person who has taken steps or cannot stay safe, accompany them to A&E (if you are able to do so safely) or call an ambulance to get you there.

This is the right thing to do and not a waste of emergency services time as some people fear.

If someone is having a heart attack the outcome could be death – just the same as if someone has tried to take their own life. Therefore, in this situation, calling an ambulance is the right action to take.

If you’re worried that a young person cannot stay safe or has taken steps to end their life but is struggling to engage in help for themselves – call the police on 999.

This also goes for if someone is missing. This is not to get someone into trouble – the police have the resources to find those who are vulnerable to suicide and get help to them quickly, working alongside other emergency services if needed.

I'm feeling suicidal and don't know what to do?

Telling someone that you feel suicidal can be scary and it can be difficult to know how someone might respond or what might happen next.

Usually the person will want to help and support you, even if they aren’t always sure how to.

It can help to think of someone you really trust or someone who has helped you in the past.

It can also help to think about what you want them to understand, and some people find writing down notes as a prompt can be useful.

Sometimes the person you tell may have a duty to tell someone else if you share that you feel suicidal. Finding out more about a person’s or organisation’s limits to confidentiality before opening up may help you feel more comfortable about who you choose to tell.

You can find further advice and support from PAPYRUS by clicking here.