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Suicidal thoughts

Hi, I'm a guy who has a friend (a girl) who sometimes has suicidal thoughts. There are several reasons for these. I need some advice on how to help her. She doesn’t live near me, I want to help her but don’t know how. She’s a Christian but she wonders when God will start to help her. I really hope you can help me to help her. Thanks.


Thanks for your question!

Our understanding is that your friend is a girl who most probably needs help to get out of a depression. Unfortunately, lots of people go through difficult periods of life, where they struggle with dark and even suicidal thoughts. This can be difficult to relate to, but most people come out of it after some time. It is extremely important to get help early.

There are often complex reasons for suicidal thoughts, in fact your friend might not even know why she thinks these thoughts. They might be triggered by a certain event, bullying or prolonged harassment. Some people are more open to these thoughts than others. Your friend probably needs help from someone who can be close to her for a long time, and this person should have a background in helping people who are going through difficult times. We don’t think it is a good idea for you to go into this with her, but we recommend you to strongly advise her to contact someone who has experience and the competence to help her. You can discuss with her about who would be a good person to talk to. It should be someone she trusts, for example a teacher, psychologist, school nurse, pastor, priest, youth leader or suchlike. You can ask her permission to do this if she is hesitant about doing it herself. You can also help her by following up and asking if she has been in touch with someone who can help, so you highlight the importance of doing this. If you do this you will be a great help to her. It is also a good idea to let her know that many countries have emergency phone lines for children and youths who need help. You can check the internet for your own country.

We want to encourage you, for your own sake, to be a good friend first of all. Just chat with her about all sorts of things, both important and trivial. Try to remind her that she is incredibly valuable and good enough as she is. Don’t just talk about her difficulties, as she probably spends too much time on these already. As you talk, try to get her to take her eyes off her situation, and focus on the things that can bring her joy, so that she sees some light in the midst of her darkness. People who struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts can easily become lonely and isolated. You have the opportunity to be a good friend who she can talk to – this will lessen her sense of loneliness. Something else you can do is to share some encouraging Bible verses with her, some that talk about God’s love for her and what He in His love has done for her. Some examples are Psalm 23, John 15:9 and 1 John 4:10. It’s super that you care about her and want to help her. We hope and pray that what you have written and asked us about, can help you when you try to help her. Good luck! 


Best wishes

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