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My best friend self harms and is suicidal and I feel responsible

One of my boy best friends has suffered from anorexia for 2 years now and he has been in and out of hospital and mental psychiatric wards. He bas tried to commit suicide twice in the past but now he is trying to recover but because he doesn't want to let his family down by relapsing he hasn't told his family he is suicidal again and I talk to him every night on the phone and try and calm him down and relax him and talk him out of it but I'm worried that there will come a time when my words aren't enough and he will take his own life. If he did I would feel so responsible so I need some advice please on what I can do, I canT tell anyone because it would probably push him to do it so please I need some help thank you
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Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for telling me about what’s happening with your friend. I’m very concerned for him and I can tell that you don’t feel that he’s safe right now. If you ever feel that he is going to act on his suicidal feelings, it’s very important to get emergency help to him. You can call 999 at any time.

From what you’ve described, you’re worried that he might try to kill himself if other people know how he's feeling. Nobody can push someone else into suicide and you’re not responsible for what he decides to do. You seem like a very caring friend and it sounds as though you’re going through a really difficult time trying to be there for him. Perhaps you could think about accessing some support for yourself too and it might help to think about who you trust to talk to about important things.

It might also help you to have a look on the Papyrus website. They’re a suicide prevention charity for young people and they have a section on what to do if a friend is suicidal. How do you think you’d feel about offering to go with your friend if he decides to get help for himself? You mentioned that he had been in hospital and in psychiatric wards before and I’m wondering what you think it’d be like to suggest to him that he could speak to his GP or a healthcare professional.

ChildLine can be there to listen and support both of you. Perhaps you could speak to a counsellor to talk through how things feels for you and you could also encourage your friend to talk to ChildLine. You can call for free on 0800 1111 or log on for a 1-2-1 chat. A counsellor can support you so that you don't have to go through worrying about your friend alone.

I’m really glad that you felt able to write and I hope that you both get the help you need at this difficult time.

Take care,

Sam

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