Guide to Active Listening

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.